Dana White saw what he wanted from Robert Whittaker’s middleweight win against Jared Cannonier on ‘Fight Island’ last weekend.
In their UFC 254 co-main event fight, Whittaker was the busier of the two fighters throughout three rounds and was awarded a unanimous decision on the scorecards (29-28 x3). It marks Whittaker’s second success on ‘Fight Island’ having bested Darren Till in Abu Dhabi in the summer — and UFC president Dana White says that Whittaker has clearly signposted himself as the division’s top contender to Israel Adesanya’s world title.
“It’s very appealing to me,” White said to the media in Abu Dhabi. “It’s the fight that makes sense right now. Adesanya has a lot of options, but the fight that makes the most sense is Whittaker. I thought Cannonier was gonna be a much tougher challenge for him.
“He looked good tonight. So the Adesanya fight makes sense.”
Whittaker had suggested in his own post-fight interview that he was considering taking a break from what has been an exhaustive schedule recently, having fought three main event bouts in the span of around a year — and there exists potential for the winner of the December fight between Darren Till and Jack Hermansson to jump ahead of Whittaker in the queue.
Time will tell how this pans out but Whittaker but despite his intention to take a few months off, he told the media that maybe he could be tempted into a December title fight with Adesanya of his own.
“Aw, f*ck. I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll worry about that then, honestly, because I’d have to talk it out with my team and if they thought it was the best move, they’d have a hell of a convincing job ahead of them. Otherwise, I don’t have to worry about it.”