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Midnight Mania! Robert Whittaker shuts down Welterweight rumors, more open to 205-pound move

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UFC Fight Night Weigh-in Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Robert Whittaker’s second bout vs. Israel Adesanya was at once encouraging and devastating. On one hand, Whittaker was demolished in the first fight, and he came just a single round away from winning the rematch. At the same time, he’s now 0-2 vs. the current champion, which means a third fight opposite “Stylebender” is going to be difficult to earn.

What’s the path forward for “The Reaper?”

Whittaker has mentioned dabbling in the Light Heavyweight division as well as a return to action in summer. However, Whittaker mentioned a sooner return than expected and “skinny Rob” on Twitter, which prompted a whole bunch of speculation from fans and pundits alike on a theoretical Welterweight return.

Whittaker hasn’t fought at 170 lbs. since June 2014. Though he was a reasonably successful fighter at Welterweight, his career really took off upon his jump up in weight class, which is why the idea that anyone would want him to drop back down is pretty perplexing. Fortunately, Whittaker appeared on The MMA Hour to clear the air.

“Mate, it had unexpected attention and unintentional attention, because it just got out of control,” Whittaker began when explaining the Tweet (via MMAFighting). “I consider camp Rob — so Rob that’s in camp, Rob that’s very happily eating his way to sleep every night — as Skinny Rob. You know? That’s why in a lot of my posts previously I’ve said things like, ‘OK, Skinny Rob’s on the shelf now for a while,’ etc, etc. But everyone was just like, ‘He’s going back to 170! Looking at how skinny he is already!’

“People don’t realize how heavy I walk around,” Whittaker added. “So, I’ll walk around 215 [pounds], 220 in life. That’s just my living weight.”

Whittaker also dropped some hints towards his next fight. Though he didn’t confirm the match up in any sense, the implication really seemed to be that Whittaker will return vs. Marvin Vettori in June. That’s a fight that makes a whole lot of sense, and it definitely puts the victor closer to a rubber match with Adesanya.

Despite his Middleweight goals, Whittaker did leave the door open for a 205-pound scrap or two. Admittedly, he doesn’t sound overeager at the idea, but perhaps the right offer could make it happen.

“I’ve considered it, because going up is definitely the option, not going down,” Whittaker said. “And I’ve considered it. But the only thing is, I feel like I’m so good at middleweight. I’ve got the cut well down. My strength versus cardio versus speed is just on point. I feel like I’d lose some of that if I move up to 205, so it might be — I don’t know, I think I’m going to try and just work my way up to a title shot here one more time and then play with the idea afterwards.”

Insomnia

BRYCE MITCHELL SPITS HOT FIRE!

One more hip-hop related Tweet, this one being proof that the HUSTLE DOES NOT STOP!

Grappling offense off the foot sweep:

We can always count on Diego Sanchez to come up with quotable moments. YES!

This type of mobility training is more difficult than it appears.

I would genuinely love to see how Islam Makhachev handles a fighter like Colby Covington or even Gregor Gillespie at Lightweight. Pure wrestler on wrestler violence!

Slips, rips, and KO clips

I’ve posted this clip before, but it deserves to be watched again. Look at this left hook!

Another nasty left hook for good measure.

This is an unusual position to finish a d’arce choke, but it reminds me of Charles Oliveira’s strategy for jumping guard to squeeze the anaconda.

Random Land

This old ship is remarkably well together having sat on the floor of the ocean for 100+ years.

Midnight Music: Classic rock, 1975

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.