Friday, April 16, 2021

Robert Whittaker Not Concerned With Ring Rust Ahead Of UFC 243

Robert Whittaker hasn’t competed since June 2018, but he isn’t about to dread potential ring rust.

Whittaker is set to clash with Israel Adesanya in a UFC middleweight title unification bout. Whittaker holds the 185-pound gold, while Adesanya is the interim title holder. The two will collide in the main event of UFC 243 on Oct. 5.

Whittaker Believes He’ll Avoid Ring Rust At UFC 243

Speaking to reporters during a conference call, Whittaker made it clear that while he feels ring rust is very real he won’t be a victim of it (via MMAJunkie.com).

“I do believe in ring rust if you’re not doing certain things to prepare yourself for competition,” Whittaker told reporters, including MMA Junkie, on Wednesday’s UFC 243 conference call. “If you’re not competing at all, if you haven’t competed at all and you’re not used to the adrenaline dump, not used to the pressure that comes with competing, then certainly the pressure is going to get to you and you might falter.

“I’ve been competing in jiu-jitsu, I’ve been competing in wrestling, I’ve been sparring in ways to increase the pressure and feel that. There’s ways to combat that. I also think once you reach a certain level – I know what to do. I’ve been there before, I’ve felt the pressure before, and I know that come October I’m going to walk in there and do my best.”

UFC 243 will be held inside Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. This will actually be Whittaker’s first middleweight title defense. While he defeated Yoel Romero in their rematch last year, “The Solider of God” missed weight so it wasn’t a title bout.