Whittaker is set to face middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in a title rematch next month at UFC 271. He has managed to get back to the title shot after winning three straight bouts, including most recently against Kelvin Gastelum and Jared Cannonier.
Paul recently offered to retire from boxing and sign a one-fight deal with the UFC if company president Dana White meets certain demands. This includes long-term healthcare for fighters, along with increasing fighter pay.
During a recent interview with Mirror, Whittaker praised the idea of giving UFC fighters additional benefits that extend long after their careers are over.
“It’s hard to say, all the chips are in the company’s playing field,” Whittaker said. “I would certainly love some healthcare, I would love that long-term post-fighting career security and I’m sure every fighter would. I would like different things to change.
“But I’m not crying over spilt milk, it is what it is. I’m very blessed to be able to do what I do for a living anyway. Instead of asking for what I don’t have, I’m grateful for what I do have.”
In a preliminary response to Paul’s challenge, White hit back at Paul and accused him of steroid use. Paul had previously accused White of using cocaine without sufficient evidence.
Many fighters, including Whittaker and UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal, have called for changes to be made to how fighters are treated by the promotion. The ongoing debate over UFC fighter pay has ramped up over the past year.
It’s unclear if the UFC has any upcoming plans to add benefits for its fighters, but Whittaker is certainly on board with Paul regarding long-term health care.
Do you think UFC fighters should receive long-term healthcare?