Well, we certainly needed some clarity in terms of who's fighting Israel Adesanya next, and it looks like it'll be the winner of Robert Whittaker vs Dricus du Plessis.
Dana White dropped a lot of huge announcements yesterday. Fights like Belal Muhammad vs Gilbert Burns and the re-booking of Charles Oliveira vs Beneil Dariush were announced. There was much more, but the UFC president just blessed us with another banger of a matchup.
— danawhite (@danawhite) April 21, 2023
This will be a three-rounder amongst many other great fights that are booked for UFC 290. The stars will be out for this July 8th event, for it's international fight week. Headlined by Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez, Whittaker will bring some more Aussie love to this card.
Robert Whittaker vs Dricus du Plessis: What's on the line?
Dana White confirmed that this will be a title eliminator. The winner will take on Israel Adesanya later this year, hopefully in Sydney, Australia. Adesanya was just able to reclaim the middleweight title earlier this month. Whittaker, the former middleweight king, lost the title to Izzy back in 2019. Since then, he's beaten every contender put in front of him.
‘Bobby Knuckles' worked his way back up to a rematch with Izzy, only to lose via decision.. Many people thought that Whittaker won the rematch; couple that with the fact that his only losses in the past nine years are the two against the champ, and it's hard to argue that Whittaker doesn't deserve another crack at the belt.
However, the UFC is giving the champ a break and have placed Whittaker and du Plessis against one another to figure out who irrefutably deserves a shot at the belt. Dricus is on a seven fight winning streak and he finished six of these fights. In fact, his decision win against Brad Tavares is the only decision win on his record. The South African seems to be gunning for the judges' job security.