Israel Adesanya defeated Robert Whittaker for a second time to retain the UFC middleweight title, then revealed that he already knows what he wants next.
Adesanya outpointed former champ Whittaker to earn a unanimous decision on the scorecards after five rounds of their title rematch, polling scores of 48-47, 48-47, 49-46.
Then he said that he is eyeing a summer return to the cage to face the man who won in emphatic fashion earlier in the night, Jared Cannonier.
“I know June doesn’t have a pay-per-view yet, but like I said, I’m the new dog in the yard, I’m the big dog in the yard now,” he said.
“And I know the other dog, Jared Cannonier, just did some work tonight. So yeah, I’m p*ssing in this cage next time in June. Watch me.”
He also spoke about his performance and praised the improved performance from Whittaker, who proved to be a much trickier opponent for the champion than in the first encounter, when Adesanya knocked out the Australian in the second round at UFC 243.
“I knew he was going to bring everything, because last time I took everything away from him,” he said.
“So, he had nothing to lose. And, like I said, I’m the champ. Come get it.”
Whittaker looked crushed after the decision was read, and later admitted that he’d thought that he had done enough to win the fight.
“I know I started off rocky in that first round, but I feel like I took every round after that,” he said.
“It is what it is, but you know what they say about leaving it to the judges.
“I’m happy that I fought my heart out and left it here. But, I’m gutted. I thought I did enough. I thought I took that.”