It is becoming increasingly difficult to deny Robert Whittaker the chance to regain the UFC Medium Weightlifting Championships.
“The Reaper” won its third consecutive UFC triumph at ESPN 22 as it made a stunning performance against Kelvin Gastelum for five laps at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night. While Whittaker’s lukewarm stance on the title may have cost him after a win over Jared Cannonier last October, the Sydney-based fighter made it quite clear what he thinks he deserves after Gastelum’s best performance.
“This is how I have always approached battle, it is that if you beat them all, you will eventually be at the top,” Whittaker said. “It’s a simple path and there is no other race that makes sense other than this tile, and this is the plan I want and I get.”
After losing the 185 pound belt to Israel Adesanya by second-round knockout at UFC 243 in October 2019, Whittaker recovered to win decisions for Gastelum, Cannonier and Darren Till. Adesanya reacted to Whittaker’s victory in a somewhat degrading way by simply posting “Good job my son” on Twitter
Good job, my son.
– Israel Adesanya (@stylebender)
April 18, 2021
Whittaker got the comment gradually, because in the end, Adesanya did better when they got to the Octagon. This alone gives him the right to brag.
“I have played video games all my life. “I’m not a stranger to garbage,” said Whittaker. “It simply came to our notice then. He won the last fight between us, so I guess he was coming, right? He’s just who he is, I guess. “
There was at least one person in the UFC on ESPN 22 who did not think Whittaker should be next in line for a lightweight title shot. Of course, it was Gastelum’s training partner Marvin Vettori who won his fifth consecutive 185-pound victory with a five-round decision against Kevin Holland a week earlier. “The Italian Dream” also has the added intrigue of a loss of decisions for Adesanya earlier in his career.
Still, Whittaker says Vettori needs to work on his resume a little more to be considered a true No. 1 candidate.
“I have not fought anything but the No. 1 contenders,” said Whittaker. “I have already run the glove. Everyone who had a title if they beat me, I won. This is.
“I like Marvin, I guess. It is OK. But I think there are struggles he has to make. I don’t think he has fought the Top 3 dudes, the Top 5 dudes, really. But he can wait his turn. Let me do my fight, and then he can fight his winner. Relax.”