New Zealand UFC star Israel Adesanya will happily engage Australia's middleweight world champion Robert Whittaker in August if he wins his interim title bout against American Kelvin Gastelum.
Adesanya anticipated a win over Anderson Silva in Melbourne in February would land him a title shot, but an abdominal injury forced Whittaker to pull out of his title defence against Gastelum on the same card.
Now Nigerian-born Adesanya will next weekend get to test his impressive striking game against strong wrestler Gastelum for the interim title on UFC 236.
The winner is set to get a shot against Whittaker for the main title this year.
"He (Whittaker) said he wants to come back in August and I don't mind, August sounds good for me," Adesanya said on Friday.
"It just means now I get two belts - everyone else gets to have one."
Whittaker will watch the interim title fight in his home city of Sydney.
Asked if he planned to send Whittaker a message from the Atlanta bout, the normally chatty Adesanya's succinct reply was "nothing."
His focus is the bout with Gastelum, but not his opponent.
"I'm unstoppable, I can't focus on any other man," Adesanya said.
Adesanya's win over Silva improved his MMA record to 16-0 and his UFC log to 5-0. He drew plenty of confidence from his points win over UFC legend Silva, who was coming off a two-year lay-off.
"I'm the best in the world, I belong at the top of the heap, that's what my last fight did for me," the 29-year-old Adesanya said.
"Beating the guy who I regarded as the best fighter in the world (when I was) a young kid."