Robert Whittaker could lay claim to an interim 185 title tonight, and secure a championship fight with Michael Bisping, but the rising fighter says scrapping Yoel Romero is a bigger reward.
Whittaker has been tapped for the interim title fight due to the fact he’s won seven straight bouts, and most recently, he took out vaunted contender, “Jacare” Souza. So, if the 26 year-old gets by Romero, then a unification, championship fight will follow.
But, while speaking at the open workouts this week for UFC 213, Whittaker had this to say about tonight’s opportunity (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“More than anything, more than that shiny belt at the end of it, is the fact that I get to fight Yoel Romero,” Whittaker said. “He’s such a tough dude, and I’m in this game to fight tough dudes.”
“I want to be known as one of the best fighters ever, so to walk that path, I have to fight the best and the baddest dudes in the world.”
Romero is indeed a “tough dude”. Not only has the 40 year-old middleweight won eight straight fights, Romero has finished contenders and stars like Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman during that time. In addition, Romero is one of the most decorated wrestlers on the UFC roster, but he’s also showcased fearsome power and athleticism. So, ya. Whittaker’s excitment to face a fighter like that certainly speaks volumes about his heart and motivation.
Then again, Whittaker has also demonstrated pretty ridiculous power during his time in the UFC, and as noted above, he’s also scored some very impressive, stoppage wins.
Thus, this is why Whittaker recently had this to say, about tonight’s bout (quote via MMA Junkie):
“I just see me putting too much hurt on him. His will might be there, but the human body can only take so much damage. I’ve just got to get my hands on him, and I will do that.”
UFC 213 will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.