Robert Whittaker Admits to Not Feeling Fully Comfortable As World Champion

Robert Whittaker
Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Like any fighter, Robert Whittaker wants to be the best in the world, but that doesn’t mean he misses being the world champion.

Robert Whittaker’s reign as middleweight champion came to an end at the hands of Israel Adesanya via second-round KO at UFC 243. “The Reaper” recently appeared on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show to discuss his mindset since losing the title, and one of his thoughts is that there is a slight sense of relief in not being burdened with the obligations of the world champion anymore (Transcript via MMA Mania):

“Yeah I kind of, I didn’t really like it that much. It’s one of those things that, it comes with some pros, but the cons really starting distracting me,’ Whittaker said. “There’s a lot of media, a lot of expectations and a lot of self-imposed pressure. It didn’t agree with me super-well.

“I’ve always been the sort of guy who just likes to fight. I like the challenge, I like the next opponent. I like to work at just how I’m going to beat you. Another thing is, I love being the underdog. I love people just writing me off like, ‘You’re going to lose.’ I love the struggle.”

Now that Whittaker has indeed lost, he is returning to the mindset that got him to the championship in the first place: putting his head down and moving forward one fight at a time with the determined grit of first-class fighter.

 “I just focused one fight after the next after the next. And I just enjoyed it, loved doing it. I am now hungrier than ever, honestly I can say that,” Whittaker said. “I am excited for the next fight and I am excited for what the future brings for next year. And I just can’t wait to get back in there.”

What Whittaker hopes is that he will get back in there opposite Darren Till in London on March 21 from the O2 Arena.

Do you believe Robert Whittaker will ever become UFC middleweight champion again?