Whittaker vs Adesanya – The Oceania Feud for Undisputed Gold
By James Lee
Robert Whittaker vs Israel Adesanya for the unified middleweight title is the best fight of the year currently scheduled. Two of the highest skilled fighters the UFC in the modern age fighting each other in their prime in the perfect moment. A battle between the best; in sport’s most dangerous arena.
Adesanya is a real life game console character. A striking presence with the precision of a marksman whose composure in definitive moments is unmatched.
Whittaker is the opposite. A silent presence but equally composed especially in the most dangerous situations in battle.
The fight has everything a fighting fan could want. Backstory. A high-skill level. A title on the line. A finish likely.
Whittaker and Adesanya have seen their paths likely to cross since early 2018 and now is finally when the wait is over. Two elite middleweights fighters from the same continent with a huge following. The fight could happen nowhere else but Australia or New Zealand, and will certainly create a divided audience in attendance.
There has been some unbelievable fights so far this year but the UFC 243 main event tops them all. Khabib/Poirier, Cormier/Miocic, Namajunas/Andrade as well as Masvidal/Diaz scheduled for UFC 244 are all marquee fights, but the fight on Saturday is different. A rarity, a fight between two ranked pound for pound fighters.
The fight represents part of a good, but unfamiliar phase in the sport recently where fighting ability is the only thing that matters. Adesanya’s striking could be one of the best we have ever seen in the octagon’s history, but Whittaker is the unassuming, hard-hitting champion who has shown he has unbelievable determination and willingness to stay composed in all situations.
The last fight both men participated in proved that they can be in the fight of the year bouts and when those to come together on Saturday, a memorable fight is expected. If it can replicate Whittaker’s two fights with Yoel Romero, or Adesanya’s fight with Kelvin Gastelum earlier this year, then the fight will be special.
The interest comes from the fact that anything could happen and nobody can really gauge what is likely to happen or how long the fight will last. It would be assumed that Adesanya has the edge striking but Whittaker has consistently proved he can beat and finish some of the division’s best like Jacare Souza and Derek Brunson, as well as two decision wins over Yoel Romero.
It will clear up the best in the world with little room for an inconclusive ending. A rare necessary champion vs champion and undisputed two best in the division from the same part of the world fighting in front of the biggest attendance in UFC history.
Anderson Silva held a heavy reign over the middleweight division for years and has single-handedly controlled the history of the division to this date, but finally a new chapter has begun. Silva’s time has passed and Adesanya/Whittaker are free to prove who is the best and potentially go on to see if they can pass Silva as the best middleweight of all time.
The fight will give new life to the division and the winner will be the figurehead that could push it to become one of the best in the UFC once again.
For me, this is the best fight of the year so far and potentially, technically the best in middleweight history. The fight that deserves the most hype. Two of the best in the sport fighting for an undisputed title in front of over 50,000 of their home people.