Top Turtle MMA Podcast: Robert Whittaker Frustrated With Title Picture

© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Robert Whittaker

Just about everybody in the middleweight division has expressed their frustrations with the UFC’s decision making. Giving a title shot to Georges St. Pierre, who had never fought in the division, not only didn’t make sense, but it also held up one of the most contender-rich divisions in the entire UFC. Although the UFC seems to have backtracked on their original booking and appear to be opening up to other possible matchups, the clarity still is not there.

Top contender Robert Whittaker sat down with “Gumby” Vreeland on the Top Turtle MMA Podcast to talk about the awkward position he find himself in (interview below starts at 19:00).

“We’re sitting here twiddling our thumbs...The division has been put on a standstill. None of these guys that have worked so hard, myself included, to get to that contender spot can go anywhere. We have no where to move; we have no way of going forward towards that belt”.

While much of this criticism was directed towards the GSP decision, the fact that the other option appears to be Yoel Romero keeps Whittaker in this stage of limbo. At the current point, he feels that his stock is as high as it can go without a belt and any additional fight does little for him.

“I love fighting and I want to fight Yoel. I’d love to fight Luke Rockhold. But at this point in time, with the division the way it is, why? What’s the point in fighting each other, in fighting these hard fights that can make or break you when there is nowhere to go? The earliest I’d be looking at a title fight would be a year from now. That’s crazy”. 

With the timing seeming the most problematic, Whittaker discussed the idea of waiting out that amount of time.

“I don’t want to sit out for a year. I don’t think anyone does really”.

Although a full year seemed like a long time, he did acknowledge that he’d wait a portion of that time.

“I have no problem waiting five or six months. If you look at my last fights, that’s how long I’ve had in between fights anyways because I have a lot of things going on outside the Octagon that I’m trying to focus on. I’m trying to get into peer mentoring and corporate coaching, I’m working with indigenous programs and I’m having a go at my own Gracie gym”.

While his willingness to wait a period of time to get what he believes should be coming was clear, when the talk turned to interim title shots, he made it no secret just how he felt.

“My sole objective is to get that middleweight belt; is to become the champion of the middleweight division...Everybody has their own mentality on interim title fights; none of them are right nor wrong. I’m already on the fence. I love fighting, I’m already halfway there. If you put something shiny in front of me, you’ll get me."

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