LAS VEGAS – Soon after a one particular-sided decision gain around Kelvin Gastelum in the UFC on ESPN 22 headliner on Saturday, Robert Whittaker believes his next combat should be for the middleweight title.
It’s that straightforward.
Whittaker isn’t one to call out opponents or tell men and women what he thinks he deserves, but right after a scintillating victory above a perilous contender, “The Reaper” thinks his path is very clear.
“It’s funny, just after the earn, everybody’s calling for (a titles shot) for me,” Whittaker advised MMA Junkie at the night’s post-celebration press conference. “That’s variety of how I have usually taken to the method of combating, is that if you defeat ’em all, you are sooner or later at the major. It is a easy path, and there is no other fight that tends to make feeling to me other than that tile shot, and that is the shot that I want and that I’m finding.”
Whittaker at first was predicted to encounter Paulo Costa, but sickness compelled the Brazilian contender out of the event. Gastelum agreed to move in on one particular month’s see, and Whittaker claimed he often understood exactly what to anticipate in the matchup.
“I understood this was going to be a challenging struggle, and you could see that,” Whittaker mentioned. “Every strike I would land, he would consider two techniques forward. He was a hard man. I head kicked him in the 1st spherical, and he just made it a war the full other four. Hat’s off to him.”
But Whittaker was up to the challenge and then some. Even though Gastelum was intense and durable and hazardous, Whittaker was generally just one stage ahead. The 30-calendar year-outdated previous champ acquired a clear sweep of the judges’ playing cards, and he claimed aggression was the most crucial element of his activity plan, in particular in the smaller sized, 25-foot octagon used at the UFC Apex.
“It’s a scaled-down octagon, so I had to enjoy to that – cater to it, if you would,” Whittaker stated. “The notion was be initial, attack, make him pay. If he will come forward, make him spend. If we’re standing there, if we’re in mid-assortment, make him pay back. I imagine which is 50 % the motive the combat pace was as it was, because I was constantly in there, due to the fact to choose a step backwards was to be minimize off. Each time I took a action backwards, I was slice off, and I experienced to circle off, and which is when he would go in and consider to be heavy.”
A handful of middleweight contenders have manufactured promises in latest months that they are entitled to a shot at reigning champion Israel Adesanya, but none have sent performances as emphatic. After Saturday’s celebration, “The Last Stylebender” took to social media to admit the outcome, albeit with a contact of condescension.
Good career my son.
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) April 18, 2021
Very good position my son.
Whittaker, who ceded the belt to Adesanya in their October 2019 clash and has been doing work his way again to a rematch considering that, took the jab in stride.
“I’ve played video games my whole lifestyle I am no stranger to trash communicate,” Whittaker reported. “And truthfully, he will get to do it. He won the past struggle in between us each, so I guess it was coming, right? It is just him currently being him, I guess.”
But make no mistake about it, Whittaker expects to combat Adesanya subsequent, and with dominant wins around Gastelum, Jared Cannonier and Darren Till beneath his belt on the road back again to a rematch, it definitely would seem justified.
And Whittaker thinks accomplishing it Down Below the moment once more, in a bought-out stadium, would be a normal in good shape.
“I imagine the borders in New Zealand are the most effective they’ve ever been, so September, I believe we can get a packed out stadium there and after once again pump the market down there and MMA as a complete,” Whittaker reported.