While Robert Whittaker may have been much more competitive with Israel Adesanya in their rematch earlier this year at UFC 271, it doesn’t seem like a third meeting will be happening anytime soon, if at all.
That’s according to the reigning middleweight champion, who dismissed the possibility of a trilogy with Whittaker during a recent UFC press conference. Adesanya is currently slated to defend the 185-pound belt against Jared Cannonier in the UFC 276 headliner on July 2 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“He’s a great fighter, I’ll give it to him,” Adesanya said of Whittaker. “But I know how that book ends. I’ve read that book twice already. The first time was a quick read. The second time a little bit longer.
“He’s probably going to be at the top for a while. If we fight again, I know how that book ends. That’s why I’m excited about this next fight, some new blood, someone I’ve never fought before. If Whittaker wants to he should go up to 205, see what that’s about, maybe try that for a little bit. I don’t like reading the same book over and over again.”
Cannonier, a former heavyweight and light heavyweight competitor, has won five of six Octagon appearances since dropping to 185 pounds. While Adesanya is motivated to take on a fresh face, he doesn’t necessarily see Cannonier as his most difficult challenger. In fact, he foresees an early night for “The Killa Gorilla” on July 2.
“Everyone’s a tough challenger. He still carries that strength around, so I can’t overlook him,” Adesanya said. “But I don’t think he’s the toughest challenger. I really think I will make it look easy.
“It’s going to be fun. It’s going to look a lot like the [Paulo] Costa fight.”