We are swinging into another cluster of #KiwiUFC fights over the next few months with Robert Whittaker, Shane Young, Dan Hooker and Israel Adesanya all booked in for UFC action. It's lovely how these fights do come in clusters, in quick succession and we can now enjoy a #KiwiUFC smorgasbord of fights that all hold high levels of intrigue for our #KiwiUFC soldiers.
The headline act, literally and figuratively is Robert Whittaker coming up against Yoel Romero again on June 9 at UFC 225 for the middleweight title. This is rematch of Whittaker's win over Romero, in which he won the title belt almost exactly a year ago, yet since then Whittaker has been unable to defend his belt; first battling a knee injury sustained in camp prior to the Romero fight and then having to pull out of his first scheduled defence against Luke Rockhold via illness.
Romero stepped up to fight Rockhold in Perth and Romero's win there, set up this rematch. In a week or two I'll pop up with a preview for this specific fight, but mark the date (June 9/June 10 NZT) down in your calendars because the Aussie-kiwi Whittaker is healthy and ready to kick-start his title reign.
A few weeks later, we have Shane Young set to fight Rolando Dy (Philippines) at UFC Fight Night Singapore on June 23. This will be the featherweight's second UFC fight after he lost to Alexander Volkanovski last November, although the loss to the Australian wasn't all that upsetting as Young was a late call up and put in a strong effort given the circumstances.
Dy is 1-2 in the UFC and his win came as Dy missed weight, with the fight moving to a catchweight. This will be our first opportunity to really acquaint ourselves with Young as a #KiwiUFC prospect, he'll have a full camp and given that his Auckland City Kickboxing comrades Hooker and Adesanya will also be preparing for fights, Young will be surrounded by intense, competitive, professional vibes which should give him a boost.
Hooker and Adesanya will fight as part of International Fight Week; Hooker vs Gilbert Burns at UFC 226 and Adesanya vs Brad Tavares as part of the Ultimate Fighter Finale card. These events will go down on the weekend of July 6-7 and signal an exciting level-up for both Hooker and Adesanya, as we enjoy their #KiwiUFC journey through the ranks.
Hooker is coming off an impressive win over veteran Jim Miller and the lightweight is on a 3-0 run, all of which have been finishes. Burns has won his last two fights, also finishes and Burns also has a long list of UFC submission victories as he's a world-class jiu-jitsu athlete.
Adesanya has won his first two UFC fights and now comes up against Tavares, who will be a massive leap up in terms of the challenge offered to Adesanya, from those first two fights. Tavares has won his last four fights and he is 12-4 in the UFC, with two of those losses coming against Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero.
Not only is Tavares coming in hot for this fight vs Adesanya, he's vastly experienced and that combination of talent and experience offers a funky gauge of what Adesanya is genuinely capable of. This is Adesanya's first true test in the UFC and if Adesanya is able to win, then we could see him progress up the ladder swiftly; if he loses then it's no dramas, learn and get back on the wagon.
As I said earlier, I'll be dropping plenty of content about these fights so stay tuned for that. This is merely the menu, setting the agenda for some marvelous #KiwiUFC times.
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Peace and love 27.