Whittaker feels that he has earned his title shot with a win over ‘Jacare’ Souza.
Breakout UFC talent Robert Whittaker shocked the world when he outclassed and finished Ronaldo Jacare Souza earlier this month at UFC on FOX 24, finishing the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu expert with a head kick and follow-up punches in the second round.
Whittaker, who was ranked as the No. 6 middleweight in the world heading into the bout, catapulted to the top three and believes that he is deserving of the next title shot.
The New Zealand-born fighter is on a seven-fight win streak and became the first man to stop Souza in the Octagon on April 15, cementing his position as one of the best strikers in the division.
Current middleweight champion, Michael Bisping, will defend his title against Georges St-Pierre later this year (possibly in the fall) but Whittaker is willing to wait to fight the winner for his crack at UFC gold.
“I don’t see why I should,” Whittaker said when asked whether he would take another fight while Bisping takes on GSP, per Matt Bungard of The Sydney Morning Herald. “Bisping has said I’m the No.1 contender, so I don’t see a reason for me to fight until he’s done with Georges.
“I did something on the weekend that nobody in the top ten has ever done. I took [Souza] and I stopped him in devastating fashion.”
The 26-year-old Aussie and former welterweight contender lost back-to-back fights to Court McGee and Stephen Thompson in 2014, but says those fights helped mold him into the ‘unstoppable’ fighter he is today.
“That set a change in motion, it really did,” Whittaker said. “It made me sit back on my heels and go ‘what do I need to change, what do I need to do?’ I corrected everything. I stopped going away from home, I surrounded myself with smart people and people who care for me, and now I have the best team in the world. I’m unstoppable.”
Whittaker, the winner of The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes, could be forced to accept another bout against a top-ranked contender while Bisping vs. St-Pierre plays out, but says ‘no one’ has what it takes to stop him.
“No one, that’s my honest belief. Everyone doubted me with Jacare and I put him away. I’m in top form and I think people don’t realise that we down here are legit, we’ve got skill sets and we’re good fighters.”
While Whittaker is eager for a title shot, the UFC is likely to book him against Yoel Romero, Luke Rockhold, or Gegard Mousasi to prove his worth as the true number one contender.