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Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker 2 targeted for UFC 271 in February

Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The long-awaited rematch between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker finally has a date with the middleweight title fight being targeted for UFC 271 on Feb. 12.

Multiple sources speaking to MMA Fighting confirmed the plans for Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2, although negotiations are still ongoing so no contracts have been issued or signed at this time. The fighters have verbally agreed to the date but until contracts are signed, nothing is official.

For Adesanya, the rematch brings him full circle to the fight that made him the undisputed UFC middleweight champion after he dismantled Whittaker inside two rounds in their first meeting back at UFC 243 in October 2019.

Since then, Adesanya has defended the 185-pound title three times with wins over Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori. His only loss during that stretch came by decision to now-former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz after Adesanya moved up a division to attempt to win a second title.

Meanwhile, Whittaker will attempt to exorcise the demons from his first fight with Adesanya, which serves as the only loss on his resume since moving to the middleweight division in 2014.

Whittaker earned another shot at Adesanya after knocking off a trio of top contenders in the division with wins over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum.

A location for UFC 271 is still to be determined with more fights expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Mike Heck contributed to this report.