Coach: Whittaker’s Nowhere “Near” The “Crosshairs” of Adesanya

Robert Whittaker has made it clear he wants to fight Israel Adesanya again, but the champ's coach says a rematch isn't even on their radar.

Israel Adesanya’s next fight has yet to be confirmed. But, recently the middleweight champ’s coach and manager reported a fight with Jan Blachowicz, and not Robert Whittaker, is all they’re focusing on.

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Coach says Whittaker is nowhere “near” to being in Adesanya’s sights

Recently there’s been a lot of talk and debate about who Adesanya will fight next. After he put away Paulo Costa at UFC 253 in September, Adesanya said he wanted to defend the middleweight title against Jared Cannonier next, provided he beat Whittaker at UFC 254.

That didn’t happen, however, as Whittaker scored a decision win. But, after the bout, the former champ said he didn’t care if Adesanya fought at light heavyweight next, since Whittaker plans to spend time with his family over the coming weeks.

Dana White apparently took the comments as Whittaker saying he doesn’t want to fight Adesanya next, and the UFC began working on Adesanya – Blachowicz. Whittaker proceeded to clarify that he absolutely wants a rematch with Adesanya, just not right around the corner.

Due to those comments, and because Glover Teixeira is also knocking on the door for a light heavyweight title fight with Blachowicz, some have wondered if the UFC might shift gears. 

But, while speaking with Submission Radio recently, Adesanya’s coach Eugene Bareman reported they’re still all-in on fighting Blachowicz (comments via MMA Mania).

“The crosshairs are on Jan,” Bareman said. “Robert Whittaker may as well be outside of the scope.

He’s not even anywhere near the crosshairs. So, like, yeah, we’re not even mentioning that name. All our focus is on the Blachowicz fight.

At the moment, the battle that’s going on is not between the two fighters, it’s between the management teams of both fighters and the UFC.

But that’s the battle going on now.”

So, these comments aren’t surprising really. Adesanya stopped Whittaker just last year, and while ‘Bobby Knuckles’ is widely respected, a rematch doesn’t do anything for ‘The Last Stylebender’.

A bout with Blachowicz, however, provides Adesanya an opportunity to become a champ-champ.

Bareman talks timeline for Adesanya – Blachowicz

It will be interesting to see if this super fight happens, but one would think there’s a very good chance it will. While talking about a timeline for it, Bareman relayed the following.

“Jan wants March,” Bareman continued. “So, he’s posturing for that in March. So, when you come out and say things like that publicly, on public record, social media and stuff, that’s all part of a strategy to put you in a position to take the fight at a certain date that you want it.

But ultimately, there’s two champions involved, and so they both have just an equal right to what day that they want to fight, it has to work for both of them.

And ultimately, both these guys work for a company, and that company decides when you fight.”

There you have it. Could we see this massive fight go down in Q1 or Q2 of 2021?

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