Israel Adesanya’s right hook turned out to be the punch the Kill Cliff Fight Club Fighter needed to hook Robert Whittaker’s middleweight UFC title when they last faced off in Melbourne in UFC 243.
That was a whopping two years ago. Australian Whittaker has had a long, long time to think about the upcoming middleweight rematch with Izzy in Houston. The long-awaited, much-anticipated confrontation between the Aussie and Izzy takes place Saturday, February 12. (You can see UFC 271 via pay-per-view.)
The title fight at Toyota Center will be the Last Stylebender’s fourth defense of the strap since he took it from the Reaper, whose record stands now at 23-5 to Izzy’s 21-1. Izzy won a unanimous decision over Marvin Vettori in June; Whittaker, who has also won three straight fights, last fought Kevin Gastelum in April.
This is shaping up to be a big one for several reasons, and we haven’t even mentioned the Oceania rivalry: Izzy resides in New Zealand, just across the Tasman Sea from Whittaker’s Oz. If you think that’s minor rivalry, you might want to check the full-contact history of the All Blacks vs. the Wallabies in rugby.
Since that first encounter with Whittaker on his opponent’s home turf in Australia, Izzy launched his own Kill Cliff Ignite clean energy, sugar free beverage, the 150mg of clean caffeine TeKilla Kiwi, in August 2021. The refreshing lime-kiwi beverage, like Izzy, rapidly made a name for itself. The Kill Cliff fighter could not be prouder, of his title or TeKilla Kiwi:
“Working with Kill Cliff to develop my own drink has been a real thrill,” the Last Stylebender told us. “Without a doubt, we have made the world’s best and most refreshing clean energy drink, and I can't wait for my fans around the world to taste it.”
According to MMAMania: “The winner of Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2 is likely to defend the 185-pound title against the winner of Derek Brunson vs. Jared Cannonier. Brunson and the ‘Killa Gorilla’ are booked for a middleweight title eliminator in the UFC 271 co-main event."
So the next opponent likely fights the same night. We’ll be watching on February 12!