clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Robert Whittaker will wait for UFC Middleweight title shot - ‘Cards (and youth) stacked in my favor’

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Souza vs Whittaker Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Whittaker firmly cemented his spot as one of the elite fighters in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight division when he knocked out Ronaldo Souza at UFC on FOX 24 a few weeks ago in Kansas City, Missouri (see it again here).

Soon thereafter, “The Reaper” called for his shot at the division strap — seven straight wins is nothing to scoff at. The only problem is, the 185-pound title picture is currently jammed up, as Georges St-Pierre will get next dibs against division champion Michael Bisping. When and where, however, is yet to be determined.

After that, Yoel Romero -- the division’s true No. 1 contender -- will get the next championship fight, which means Whittaker will have a lot of waiting around to do. And he’s just fine with that.

“With my last performance, I showed the world that I deserve a shot, you know? I did something that no one else in the division has done to a fellow that hasn’t been stopped in that way in a long, long time,” said Robert during a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour.”

“A lot of dudes are just trying to sneak there way into having their shot by waiting it out, sitting out and doing these little political maneuvers. But, at the end of the day, they are running out of time and I am not. This is the beginning of my first run, the beginning of my career just about. If it’s a time race, they are not going to win.”

In short, Whittaker says at age 26, him waiting for his championship bout isn’t the same as say someone like Romero, who just turned 40. As far as Bisping’s comments suggesting Whittaker deserves a shot before Romero, “The Reaper” is flattered, but also doesn’t hide the fact that it could be simply “The Count” implying he’s an easier fight than “Soldier of God.”

“I think he [Bisping] owes me a fight and what I did on that weekend he’s not looking past. And whether or not he thinks, you know what, I think he might think that I am an easier match up,” said Whittaker. “Yoel had lot of hype and right behind him as well, at the moment. I’m sure a part of him does think I’m an easier match up. But, you know, I love surprising people.”

When asked if he’d accept a title eliminator fight against Romero if offered, Whittaker claimes there is no reason for him to take the bout, seeing as how he’s set himself up to compete for the title.

“I don’t see why I should. I thinking I earned myself up and set myself up perfectly for that next shot and the fact that Bisping has called me out on top of that, it’s just cards in my favor. I should just sit tight, do what I’m doing and be prepared for that title shot.”

Sorry, Luke.

Plus, Whittaker knows first-hand what it’s like to see a fighter’s championship dreams come crumbling down by taking a fight instead of waiting, as his knockout win over “Jacare” -- who was in prime position for a title fight — sent the Brazilian jiu-jitsu master to the back of the line.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania