Despite recent reports, UFC president Dana White still plans on having the highly-anticipated middleweight title unification clash between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya take place in Australia.
Following his interim title win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 in April, Adesanya was slated to meet current champion Whittaker in a fight worthy of a stadium in Australia according to White. With both fighters representing Australasia — Whittaker being a Kiwi-born Aussie and Adesanya moving to New Zealand when he was a teenager — it is undeniably the biggest fight in combat sports history for the region.
It was later reported that it would take place at UFC 243 on October 5 at the Bankwest Stadium in Sydney, Australia. However, The Daily Telegraph reported last week that it would now be moved to Las Vegas as it would clash with the NRL Grand Final which also takes place in Sydney on the same day.
If that were the case, it would have been a huge blow for combat sports fans in Australia and New Zealand. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case according to White, who was speaking at a media scrum at the opening of the UFC’s Apex arena on Tuesday.
“If you look at our reach and this machine that we’ve built, this is a global machine,” White said when asked about the UFC’s power to promote stars. “This isn’t a United States machine, this isn’t a UK machine, this is a global machine. I’m going to put on a fight this fall in Australia that’s going to blow the fucking doors off that country. It’s going to be a massive event over there.”
“What’s crazy is, this massive event that’s going to happen in Australia, people in the UK are going to watch it, people in Europe are going to watch it, people in United States, Canada, Brazil, the world will watch this fight. I’m talking about Israel Adesanya and of course, Robert Whittaker. The world will watch that fight from Australia, which will be a massive event there. We’re not a US promoter, we’re a global promoter.”
Good news for fight fans Down Under then. Hopefully, there will be some official announcements coming soon.