Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, returned to the win column with a unanimous decision victory over fellow ex-welterweight, Darren Till, in the UFC on ESPN 14 main event last month on “Fight Island.”
That put Whittaker right back into title contention, but before any talk about the belt can get underway, “The Reaper” must first dispose of No. 3-ranked “monster” Jared Cannonier, who also has championship dreams (and a bricks for hands).
“He is a bit of a monster,” Whittaker told Submission Radio. “He’s tough, he’s strong, he’s resilient. He just comes forward and he just hits you with that aggression and power, and he’s kind of got that unstoppable momentum sort of thing going for him right now. But the thing is though, I’m actually pretty good at monster slaying. When I went through the division the first time, everyone was a monster. I carved through them. I think I put him out and get him out at the end of round two. I think I’m gonna be too much.”
Whittaker (21-5), still ranked No. 1 at 185 pounds, is expected to collide with Cannonier (13-4) at the upcoming UFC 254 pay-per-view (PPV) event this fall. The winner will likely move forward and challenge the winner of Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa, who settle their longstanding score at UFC 253.
Adesanya stopped Whittaker in the second round of their UFC 243 headliner last October so as a fighter, there is no question “The Reaper” would like to get that one back. As a fan, I’d rather see him go punch-for-punch with the musclebound Costa with the belt up for grabs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
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