While many expected the rematch between Australia’s Robert Whittaker and New Zealand’s reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya to take place in January, rumours currently suggest the event has been postponed until February 2022 at UFC 271.
Whittaker’s representative, Titus Day, confirmed rumors that the headliner, which was originally scheduled for UFC 270 in January, would be pushed back by a month in an interview with News Corp on Friday.
The delay was caused by Adesanya’s inability to return to New Zealand in January due to continued Covid quarantine restrictions in his birthplace of Auckland, according to Day.
While several UFC athletes from his City Kick Boxing camp will be competing overseas in the coming months, none have been assured a return trip due to the country’s severe re-entry regulations.
As a result, UFC officials are expected to postpone the highly anticipated middleweight title rematch in order to secure Adesanya’s safe return to New Zealand after the bout.
Meanwhile, Israel Adesanya has maintained his domination in the UFC middleweight class since defeating Robert Whittaker. In a failed bid to win the UFC light heavyweight title, the 32-year-old did lose a unanimous decision to Jan Blachowicz. Aside from that, in his professional MMA career, he has never been defeated.
Israel Adesanya is 3-1 in the octagon since knocking out Robert Whittaker for the undisputed UFC middleweight belt. Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, and Marvin Vettori are among his victories. Only Blachowicz has beaten him.
Adesanya’s most recent bout was a unanimous decision victory against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263 in June 2021 in a rematch.