Just by the way he carries himself, it’s easy to brand UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker as one of the nicest guys in MMA. But apparently, it’s something that “Bobby Knuckles” isn’t too fond of.
During a recent interview with Submission Radio, Whittaker took some time to clear up the reputation that seemingly precedes him.
“Let me clear something up quickly, just because I don’t talk trash and I’m not mouthy and I’m not mouthing off like I’m in the school yard, doesn’t mean I don’t take this for what it is,” he said. “I am doing everything in my power to break you, because we are going to go fight in an Octagon. And I don’t play this.
“This isn’t a game to me. I treat this as if this would be my last fight ever, and I always have. And I don’t need to smack talk to get in that mind frame, I’m already there. Like, we’re gonna go fight to the death in so many months’ time and I’m gonna give everything I have, I just don’t smack talk though. But don’t misinterpret that for me not taking the fight seriously.
“You can see every one of my opponents when we have the first face off or when we come face to face after the fight’s been announced, they know, they know that, okay, this guy isn’t playing. I’m not playing. It’s not a game.
“I don’t know why everyone calls me a nice guy, to be honest,” he continued. “Like, I’m not nice just because I’m not a d—khead (laughs), you know what I mean? I’m just normal, I’m just straight (laughs).”
Whittaker is actually matched up against a loud talker in Israel Adesanya, whom he will unify the middleweight titles with at UFC 243. He recognizes the big game his opponent talks, but isn’t a fan of this current trend in the game, much like some of his contemporaries.
“I feel like, my whole thing wasn’t this thing that I want to be portrayed as this nice guy, I wanna go out there and become a saint, or I want to go out there and just do charity work in my off time,” he said. “I just don’t want to be a sh-t person – which is funny enough a lot harder in today’s day and age than it seems.
“Everyone, especially in the MMA game, everyone wants to jump on each other, they want to sh-t on each other, they want to try to, instead of improving and building their own careers and improving the scene, improving the sport themselves, they’d rather sh-t on everybody around them.”
UFC 243 takes place on October 6th. No venue has been finalized just yet, but the UFC is reportedly looking to book the Marvel Stadium, Melbourne’s 55,000-seater arena.