Friday, September 30, 2022

Whittaker Refuses To Deal With “Ladder Politics” After UFC Paris Win

Robert Whittaker isn’t going to play politics to finagle another middleweight title shot.

Whittaker consolidated his position as the division’s number one contender after defeating Marvin Vettori at UFC Paris. The 31-year-old spent the opening round slickly evading Vettori’s onslaught, before finding his offensive rhythm in the last two.

A very poised Whittaker threw a variety of blistering combinations and head kicks at the Italian and only seemed to be getting better as the fight drew on. A bloodied Vettori, the #2-ranked middleweight, had no answer to the Whittaker’s slick offense and the Australian cruised to victory via a comfortable unanimous decision.

Whittaker Vettori
PHOTO: ZUFFA

Whittaker Says He’s Staying Clear of Rankings Politics

If it didn’t already seem like middleweight champ Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker were leagues above everyone in the division, it certainly is now. And if Adesanya gets past Alex Pereira at UFC 281 in November, a third bout with Whittaker only seems inevitable.

However, it was only in February that Whittaker lost to Adesanya for a second time, with some believing the Australian may have to test himself against another top contender before they meet once more.

At the UFC Paris post-fight press conference, Whittaker said that he’s not concerning himself with the machinations of middleweight matchmaking and will simply continue doing what he’s always done to earn another title shot.

“I don’t really deal with the ladder and the rankings politics, movements, and machinations,” said Whittaker. “You know, it’s anybody’s business how that works; I got no idea, I’ve never really worried about it. I just beat the guys they put in front of me. It’s been my simple plan since I started the sport, that you put someone in front of me and I just beat them…and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Israel Adesanya Robert Whittaker
Getty Images

While “The Reaper” is clearly eyeing the title, he said that if he’s forced to wait for a shot at Adesanya or Pereira, he’ll gladly take on another top contender in the interim.

“I’m lurking for that gold and I’ll be here just waiting for that rematch or the next challenge,” said Whittaker. “But I’m not just going to sit on the sidelines for years and chill…this is what I do for a living…I enjoy doing it, I like putting on a show. So, we’ll wait and see…the future is unknown.”

Whittaker has now won 13 of his last 15 UFC fights, with his only losses coming against Adesanya. And like the champ has already, he’s facing the proposition of taking on the middleweight division’s best for a second time. In between both losses to Adesanya, Whittaker soundly defeated Darren Till, Jarod Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum via unanimous decision.

What do you think of Robert Whittaker refusing to deal with the middleweight ladder politics?

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