Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, is scheduled to defend his title against top 185-pound contender, Kelvin Gastelum, at the upcoming UFC 234 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Feb. 10, 2019 inside Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
That will, of course, require champion and challenger to promote their five-round affair both locally and abroad. But it seems “The Reaper” is being accused of acting like a media diva and refusing to meet his championship responsibilities.
So naturally, promotion president Dana White ran with it during his recent press tour “Down Under,” because White likes to tell the mixed martial arts (MMA) community when his fighters are acting like insufferable egomaniacs.
“Someone told Dana White that I don’t do PR or I’m not easy to work with and that’s bullshit,” Whittaker told Submission Radio. “I’ve done every PR and every media event they’ve put up to me. The big thing is, though, they get the shits when I say, ‘Sorry, I can’t make it, I have training at this time.’ What do you want me to do? Do you want me to fight or do you want me to do this? Work around me a little bit. It was just a miscommunication and that’s all.”
It’s not uncommon for UFC champions to complain about their media obligations because the more famous you get, the more coverage you receive. That was one of the biggest problems the “attacked” Ronda Rousey had during her championship title reign, which eventually led to this.
“I do all sorts of media stuff,” Whittaker said. “I’ve never said no or turned down a media event unless it clashes hard with a session I cannot miss. So, it’s part of the job. I think it’s just gotta be a healthy balance. I don’t know anything about running the company of UFC. That’s not my specialty. All I do know is that I need to train in order to win fights. UFC want me to win fights. So if you want me to do PR, let’s work together, let’s work around it. Try to fit in around my times, please.”
Silly “Reaper,” only the fighting Irish are allowed to get away with that.