Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker wants a chance to reclaim the belt, and doesn’t know why UFC President Dana White suggested otherwise.
Whittaker is now 2-0 since losing the middleweight title to the division’s reigning champ Israel Adesanya, having rebounded with a pair of decision wins over top contenders Darren Till and Jared Cannonier.
After Whittaker’s win over Cannonier, however, White announced that Adesanya would be moving up to light heavyweight to challenge divisional champ Jan Blachowicz. White also suggested Whittaker turned down a rematch with Adesanya.
Whittaker begs to differ.
Speaking on MMA Fighting’s What The Heck, the former middleweight champ vented his frustrations with the situation.
“That fight was never offered to me,” Robert Whittaker said. “There wasn’t even talks up in the air. There was no correspondence at all and I guess that’s the most confusing factor and the most annoying part about the whole mess. There was no discussion. There was no communication. There was no dialogue. That’s annoying.
“He twisted my words around. I think because he had his own designs and the UFC—When I say ‘he’ I mean him and the UFC as an organization, I understand that Dana White doesn’t personally want to do things. Or maybe he does, who knows?—but I think they wanted [Adesanya vs. Blachowicz]. That’s a money fight for them. That’s a fight they wanted to push and that’s the only reason I can see that.”
Whittaker continued, insisting that he wants and deserves a rematch with Adesanya, and clarifying that he simply didn’t want the fight to happen around Christmas.
“The only fight that makes sense for me, and I was very verbal and open about it, is that I want to fight Adesanya,” Whittaker said. “It’s the only fight I want, I just don’t want it around Christmas. That was the biggest thing for me after the fight in the conferences and the media was just getting my timeline out there, understanding and letting people know that yes, I want this fight, this fight is the only fight that makes sense to me. It’s the fight that I earnt.
“The title fight is my right after beating Jared because that’s the type of fight it was is a contender fight. That’s the fight I earned. But I have to be there for my family and my kids and the newest member that’s going to be joining my family in January. That’s my highest priority right now is getting my timeline out there and then work around that.”
Whittaker went on to admit that he finds this situation frustrating, and that this is the kind of thing he doesn’t enjoy about his chosen sport.
“This sort of stuff just shoots me up the wall,” Whittaker said. “It’s a part that I do hate about the sport. I hate all these political sort of ploys and plans and I just hate it. It’s such a pain in the ass. I’m a fighter. I’m a warrior. You put me up against an opponent, you tell me to fight this guy, I’m happy to do that.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a thug, I’m not just a dude that wants to go bruising and just fighting people. But I am a warrior. This is what I do, this is my trade. I don’t like dealing with all that. It’s supposed to be very straightforward. That’s why the rankings are there, that’s why there’s a ladder. It’s supposed to be very simple, but it’s not.”
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