PARIS Robert Whittaker once more proved he wont be vanquished from the middleweight title picture with a masterclass performance against Marvin Vettori in the UFC Fight Night 209 co-main event.
Whittaker (24-6 MMA, 15-4 UFC), a former UFC champ, took out another fellow top contender Saturday when he outworked Vettori (18-6-1 MMA, 8-4-1 UFC) to a unanimous decision at Accor Arena in France. It had been an excellent showing from The Reaper on the heels of losing his rematch to current titleholder Israel Adesanya at UFC 271 in February.
Obtaining the UFC title back around Whittakers waist is his sole goal at this time of his career, and he said he wont let anyone stand in his way.
Im a fiend for progress, Whittaker told MMA Junkie along with other reporters post-fight at UFC Fight Night 209. I would like to progress. Im hunting that gold still. So Im always likely to lurking around, just destroying who they put before me until I get yourself a possiblity to gobble up that gold.
Im probably the most dangerous man in the division. Israels the champ. He beat me twice. Hats off to him for that. Hes an excellent fighter, he is really. And I believe stylistically hes an excellent fighter. I still think Im probably the most dangerous man in the division because I win. I win a whole lot, and I make people hate fighting and I take the fight out of these. Thats what I really do. I enter there and I reach work.
Adesanya happens to be scheduled to fight Alex Pereira in his next title defense at UFC 281 on Nov. 12 in NY. Whittaker said hes indifferent to who emerges victorious as long as he reaches fight them, but admits his two defeats to Adesanya are something he really wants to reunite and he thinks things will be different in a third encounter.
He knocked me out the initial one then your second one was an extremely close decision, Whittaker said. Im not butt hurt about any of it, but on a later date it couldve been my win. Mentally thats massive. Its very difficult to describe how it feels to obtain knocked out and lose your belt like this. It sucks. Theres a learning process afterward. A picking-up-of-the-pieces process. I conquered a lot of them.
A very important factor Whittaker said is essential to notice is that hes not likely to hold out for an ideal opportunity. He just really wants to take part in meaningful contests, and said he’d prefer to compete in his home country of Australia if the UFC makes a vacation there in early 2023.
I hear theres rumors of an Australia card, Whittaker said. I’d want to fight in my own backyard. I believe thats another move for me personally.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkies event hub for UFC Fight Night 209.