After finishing Jacare at UFC on FOX 24, Whittaker is ready to start his title run.
Australia’s Robert Whittaker rose to the occasion against the highly touted Ronald Jacare Souza at UFC on FOX 24 on Saturday, finishing the Brazilian with a head kick and follow-up punches in the second round.
Whittaker, who extended his win streak to seven, entered the contest as a 3/1 underdog but was clearly the superior fighter. The New Zealand-born talent shrugged off Souza’s grappling attempts and outclassed his opponent on the feet.
When asked whether his underdog status bothered him heading into Saturday’s main card, Whittaker told reporters that the oddsmakers don’t know how talented he is.
“The oddsmakers don’t know who I am,” Whittaker said at the post-fight press conference, per MMA Fighting’s Dave Doyle. “I live in Australia, I train out of there, I stay down there, I’m so far away from everywhere else. I don’t think ‘Jacare’ overlooked me, either. He’s a veteran of the sport, all props to him. He would have taken me seriously from day one, but it’s just a hell of a win.”
The 26-year-old striker was supposed to fight current middleweight champion Michael Bisping at UFC 193 in 2015, but ‘The Count’ was forced to pull out due to injury. Whittaker says Bisping owes him a title shot and feels ready to go on his own championship run.
“That’s a discussion I’ll have with my corners and stuff, but I’m on my title run,” he said. “I’m on my run and I want that belt. Bisping owes me a fight, but if he’s tied up, or if he loses it, or whatever, I want that belt. Wherever it goes, I want it.”
Whittaker is likely to catapult to the top three with a win over the top-ranked Jacare and has the second highest win streak in the 185-pound division. The breakout talent could face No. 1 contender Yoel Romero while Bisping defends his title against Georges St-Pierre.