Robert Whittaker: UFC didn’t love Sean Strickland as champ, will likely give Israel Adesanya title shot next

Dricus Du Plessis opened the vote to fans on who he should fight next, and Robert Whittaker has chimed in.

Middleweight champion Du Plessis (21-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) asked fans if he should settle his grudge match with Israel Adesanya next, or run things back with Sean Strickland, who he dethroned in a close decision win at UFC 297.

Fans voted in favor of Strickland (28-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC), who’s recently been campaigning for an immediate rematch with Du Plessis. But, considering Strickland’s controversial nature, Whittaker doubts the UFC will be on board.

“I don’t know, mate – me,” Whittaker said on his MMArcade Podcast. “Call me out you bum. I can see them making that Izzy fight because of the bad blood between them, because of South Africa and that whole story arc.

“I can’t really see the UFC getting behind Strickland again. I don’t think they loved him as a champ to begin with, so I don’t think they’re really gunning for that rematch. I don’t know.”

Whittaker (25-7 MMA, 16-5 UFC) suffered a TKO loss to Du Plessis at UFC 290 last July, but rebounded with an impressive performance over Paulo Costa at UFC 298. The former champion thinks Adesanya (24-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) getting the next title shot benefits him, as he’s eyeing a fight with Strickland next.

“I’m kind of hoping Dricus gets Izzy in a sense, just so that I can fight Strickland,” Whittaker said.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie