SHARE



It’s getting more and more difficult to deny Robert
Whittaker
a chance to reclaim the UFC middleweight
championship.

“The Reaper” earned his third consecutive triumph in the UFC on
ESPN 22 headliner, as he put on a brilliant striking exhibition
against Kelvin
Gastelum
for five rounds at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on
Saturday night. While Whittaker’s lukewarm attitude toward a title
shot might have cost him following a victory over Jared
Cannonier
this past October, the Sydney-based fighter made it
pretty clear what he believes he deserves after besting Gastelum in
impressive fashion.

“That’s kind of how I’ve always taken to the approach of fighting,
is that if you beat ’em all, you’re eventually at the top,”
Whittaker said. “It’s a simple path, and there is no other fight
that makes sense to me other than that tile shot, and that’s the
shot that I want and that I’m getting.”

After losing the 185-pound belt to Israel
Adesanya
via second-round knockout at UFC 243 in October 2019,
Whittaker has rebounded to earn decision wins over Gastelum,
Cannonier and Darren Till.
Adesanya reacted to Whittaker’s victory in somewhat condescending
fashion, simply posting “Good job my son” on Twitter

Whittaker took the comment in stride because after all, Adesanya
did get the better of him when they squared off in the Octagon.
That alone gives him bragging rights.

“I’ve played video games my entire life; I am no stranger to trash
talk,” Whittaker said. “And honestly, he gets to do it. He won the
last fight between us both, so I guess it was coming, right? It’s
just him being him, I guess.”

There was at least one person in attendance at UFC on ESPN 22 who
doesn’t think Whittaker should be next in line for a middleweight
title shot. That, of course, was Gastelum training partner Marvin
Vettori
, who earned his fifth straight 185-pound win with a
five-round verdict against Kevin
Holland
one week prior. “The Italian Dream” also has the added
intrigue of a split-decision loss to Adesanya earlier in his
career.

Still, Whittaker says Vettori needs to work on his resume a little
bit more to be considered a true No. 1 contender.

“I’ve fought nothing but No. 1 contenders,” said Whittaker. “I’ve
already ran the gauntlet. Everybody that had a title shot if they
beat me, I beat. That’s it.

“I like Marvin, I guess. He’s alright. But I think there’s fights
he still needs to make. I don’t think he’s fought the Top 3 dudes,
the Top 5 dudes, really. But he can wait his turn. Let me have my
fight, and then he can fight the winner of that. Relax.”


LEAVE A REPLY