Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker 2 Officially Announced for UFC 271

Israel Adesanya, UFC
Israel Adesanya, UFC 263 press conference Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

One of the worst kept secrets in MMA over the past several weeks has been made official: Israel Adesanya will defend his middleweight title against Robert Whittaker at UFC 271 next February.

UFC officials announced the news Saturday. The event takes place February 12, 2022 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

It’s a fight that has been a long time coming, frankly. Adesanya and Whittaker first met in 2019 at UFC 243, with “The Reaper” holding gold at the time. Adesanya, who entered the fight as an interim champ, would go on to win the fight via knockout in the second round.

Since then, Adesanya (21-1) has been nearly flawless, defending the 185lb title three times. The only blemish on his record came earlier this year, when “The Last Sylebender” made a failed bid to claim a second belt at light heavyweight, against Jan Blachowicz.

After that March setback, Adesanya returned to middleweight in June, defending his belt against Marvin Vettori and defeating the Italian for a second time.

Whittaker (20-5) has also been on an impressive run since his first meeting with Adesanya. The Australian has won three straight, bagging unanimous decisions against Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum.

February’s UFC 271 card currently includes the following reported bouts:

Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker
Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Sergey Morozov
Kyler Phillips vs. Marcelo Rojo
Renato Moicano vs. Alexander Hernandez
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Casey O’Neill
Mark Madsen vs. Vinc Pichel
Carlos Ulberg vs. Fabio Cherant
Mike Mathetha vs. Orion Cosce
Ronnie Lawrence vs. Leomana Martinez
Ed Herman vs. Maxim Grishin