Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus Du Plessis Booked into Title Eliminator at UFC 290

Robert Whittaker, UFC
Robert Whittaker, UFC Paris Ceremonial Weigh-In Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

A rarely seen official title eliminator has been booked for UFC 290 on July 8, 2023.

In a middleweight match-up, former champ Robert Whittaker (24-6) will face off with South Africa’s Dricus Du Plessis (19-2), with the winner going on to face 185lb champ Israel Adesanya.

The booking was announced by UFC President Dana White on Friday, who noted that the match-up was put together the previous night. Whoever comes out on top in Whittaker vs. Du Plessis will face Adesanya in a middleweight title fight targeted for Sydney, Australia, per White. Former featherweight champ Max Holloway spilled the beans about the potential Australia card just last weekend.

Du Plessis has been tearing up the middleweight division, and has traded barbs with champ Adesanya along the way. The former KSW champ has won his first five fights inside the octagon, most recently stopping Derek Brunson last month.

Whittaker’s only losses for the better part of a decade have come against Adesanya. He returned to the win column against Marvin Vettori last September at UFC Paris.

The following bouts have been reported for UFC 290, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV, thus far:

  • Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Yair Rodríguez (ic) – for the UFC featherweight championship / title elimination bout
  • Brandon Moreno (c) vs. Alexandre Pantoja – for the UFC flyweight championship
  • Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus du Plessis
  • Jalin Turner vs. Dan Hooker
  • Robbie Lawler vs. Niko Price
  • Bo Nickal vs. Tresean Gore
  • Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Manel Kape