Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, knows that some mixed martial arts (MMA) fans have been questioning his desire to compete after a couple of ill-timed injury setbacks bounced him from both UFC 221 and UFC 234.
In fact, current UFC interim middleweight titleholder, Israel Adesanya, wants betting lines released for Whittaker’s odds of withdrawing from their UFC 243 championship pay-per-view (PPV) main event this October in Melbourne.
Safe to say “The Reaper” has something to prove.
“After what happened last fight, it left a bitter taste in my mouth. It lit a fire in me. I am hungrier than ever to step into that Octagon and get to work,” Whittaker told Sydney Morning Herald. “But October, I am going to get there, I am going to fight. Everyone can shut up and I am going to enjoy myself. It’s killing me more than anyone else. I want to get to work, I want to get in there, I want to defend my belt and I want to earn some money.”
Those medical bills aren’t cheap (just ask this guy).
Whittaker (20-4) captured the vacant middleweight crown following a five-round battle against Yoel Romero at UFC 213 over two years ago, then ran it back with “Soldier of God” at UFC 225, winning another close decision over the Cuban slugger.
As for Adesanya (17-0), he stymied top contender Kelvin Gastelum in their interim championship headliner at UFC 236 back in April, his sixth straight win since joining the promotion back in early 2018.
Time to put up or shut up.