UFC middleweight Robert Whittaker has issued his response after a recent callout by divisional rival Paulo Costa.
Whittaker seems to be the next man in line for a shot at Israel Adesanya’s Middleweight Championship after his two decision wins over fellow contenders Darren Till and Jared Cannonier. Costa, on the other hand, was decisively beaten by Adesanya in a one-sided title fight back at UFC 253.
After Costa made it clear that he’d be interested in a fight against Whittaker, the former champion was quick to shut the idea down.
“The only real logical fight for me right now is Izzy,” Whittaker told MMA Junkie. “I’ve held this spot as (number) one twice now in the last four, five months, and that’s a fight he (Costa) just lost his contention to the title. That’s really the only fight that I am interested in at the moment. It’s very hard for me to be interested in anything else.”
Whittaker also tried to clear up any confusion after Dana White claimed that he wasn’t interested in the prospect of a rematch against Adesanya.
“I certainly think he took a little twist to what I said,” Whittaker said. “I never said I don’t want to fight Izzy. That’s not something I said. I did not say that. I’m looking to fight March, April next year. I would like to fight Izzy. If Izzy’s moving up to fight Jan, then I’ll move up and fight him there if he gets the win. I want that fight. I do want that fight. We just had to work it into that timeline.
“I have no control on what the UFC’s going to do or what Izzy’s going to do, but whether he’s here at middleweight or up at light heavyweight, I’ll take the fight him,” Whittaker added.
“They never reached out to me — not once,” Whittaker concluded. “It wasn’t so much of a twist of Izzy fighting Jan. I can see why they would want to do that, why Izzy would want to do that, why the UFC would want it. I can see that happening. It’s more the twist or how he took my words. Either he misinterpreted it or twisted it a little bit. That one took me for a little bit of a ride. But like I said, my timeline stands. That is the fight that I’ve earned.”
Who do you want to see Robert Whittaker fight next?