Robert Whittaker knows what it’s like to be a champion.
As a Middleweight competitor, Whittaker has only tasted defeat on two occasions in 14 appearances, both of which came at the hands of the current titleholder, Israel Adesanya. During his reign, Adesanya has shown flaws on minimal occasions, recently pitching shutouts against Marvin Vettori and Jared Cannonier with the Whittaker rematch sandwiched in between.
After Whittaker’s win over the aforementioned Vettori this past weekend (Sept. 3, 2022) at UFC Paris (watch highlights), he addressed some of the critiques Adesanya has started garnering for becoming a “boring” fighter in the eyes of some fans.
“I’m pretty sure he’s just paid to win,” Whittaker said at the UFC Paris post-fight press conference. “You know, that’s the most important thing whether it’s boring or not. You can have the most exciting fight of the night, if you lose, no one is talking about you tomorrow. As cold as it sounds, winning is all that matters.
“If I could just take someone down, and hold them down until someone took them home, I would,” he laughed. “Love my fans, but I would happily hug someone on the ground for 25 minutes if that gets me the W. That’s the sport we’re in.”
Whittaker’s last encounter with Adesanya earlier this year (Feb. 12, 2022) was a compelling one, to say the least. Despite the outcome ultimately seeing Adesanya’s hand raised via unanimous decision (watch highlights), the bout was close enough to where many within the community made cases for “The Reaper” being the true victor.
A trilogy bout with Adesanya remains the goal for Whittaker as he now begins to aim toward amassing another solid win streak.
For complete UFC Paris: “Gane vs. Tuivasa” results and play-by-play, click HERE.