clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UFC 234: People should really stop underestimating ‘real deal’ Robert Whittaker

New, comments

Since making the jump up to the Middleweight division in 2014, Robert Whittaker has yet to taste defeat, racking up nine straight wins and capturing the division title while taking out some of the best in the weight class.

Still, it seems “The Reaper” doesn’t exactly get the respect and shine most Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) titleholders receive. A lot of it could be due to his quiet and soft-spoken nature, or the fact that he stays out of the headlines (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

Still, the fact that he gets overlooked so often doesn’t bother Whittaker all that much.

“I don’t (get respect of most champs) but it makes all the more fun for me to go out there and convince them that I’m the real deal,” said Whittaker on a recent edition of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.

During his tremendous run at 185 pounds, Robert had the “pleasure” of sharing the cage with one of the toughest, hardest-hitting men to ever step into the UFC cage in Yoel Romero, doing so in back-to-back title fights at UFC 213 and UFC 225.

Both battles (see them here and here) were five round wars that saw each combatant take as much punishment as they dished out. But unlike he did with Chris Weidman, Luke Rockhold and Lyoto Machida, “Soldier of God” couldn’t put Whittaker away despite hitting him with his best shot.

And that should pretty much discourage any other middleweight.

“I’ve said it before but the division should be dissuaded by the fact that I took Romero’s best shots, fought him for 10 rounds, 50 minutes of fighting and came away with a win twice and injured in both fights,” said Robert.

“I’m not to be underestimated and I’m not going anywhere. You need to come in there with your best game to take me out.”

Up next for “Bobby Knuckles” is his second title defense, as he is lined up to face Kelvin Gastelum this Saturday night (Feb. 9, 2019) at UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia. And though Kelvin may not have the aura or fanfare that Romero or Weidman have around them, Whittaker is treating Kelvin like any top-caliber contender he’s faced.

As far as this prediction goes, Whittaker says he’s been there, heard that.