Despite posting back-to-back wins, it appears that Robert Whittaker still hasn’t done enough to impress UFC president Dana White.
Whittaker was the UFC middleweight champion for two years as part of his nine-fight winning streak. He claimed the interim title with a victory over Yoel Romero, and was later promoted to undisputed champion after Georges St-Pierre’s retirement. He would once again defeat Romero in a rematch that many dubbed the 2018 ‘Fight of the Year’ (though it was not officially a title fight as Romero missed weight) before meeting Israel Adesanya in the headliner of UFC 243. ‘The Last Stylebender’ stopped Whittaker in the second round to claim the title, and ‘The Reaper’ has been working his way back to contention ever since.
Finishing 2020 with a pair of decision wins over top contenders Darren Till and Jared Cannonier had many fans believing that he had done enough to warrant a rematch against Adesanya. However, according to FanSided’s Amy Kaplan, the UFC’s head honcho isn’t quite there yet.
The news comes as a bit of a surprise given that Whittaker’s last opponent, Cannonier, was all but assured a title shot had he come out of their fight the victor. This led to the speculation that coming out the winner would make Whittaker the number-one contender, but that obviously is not the case.
What is next for the middleweight championship is still up in the air. Current champ Adesanya’s next fight will be against light heavyweight king Jan Blachowicz in an attempt to unify the titles. Should he come out of that fight victorious, it is unclear whether he will come back down to middleweight to defend both titles, or stay in his new weight class. Additionally, it is not known who would be in front of Whittaker in the middleweight pecking order, but the winner of a recently announced match-up between Kevin Holland and Derek Brunson could provide some clarity.
Do you think Robert Whittaker’s next fight should be for the title? Let us know!