Former undisputed UFC middleweight champion has welcomed a heralded “good guy versus bad guy” matchup against undefeated welterweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev for his next Octagon outing – in typical, coy and reserved fashion from the fan favorite contender.

Whittaker, a former undisputed UFC middleweight champion, currently boasts the #2 rank in the official 185lbs pile, most recently featuring in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night Paris back in September of last year, rebounding to the winner’s enclosure in a unanimous decision win over Marvin Vettori.

Earlier that year, Whittaker headlined UFC 271 against former undisputed champion, Israel Adesanya, suffering a unanimous decision loss of his own in the pair’s championship rematch.

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As for Chimaev, the unbeaten #3 ranked welterweight contender, has yet to return to the Octagon since he co-headlined UFC 279 back in September to boot, landing a one-sided first round D’Arce choke win over Kevin Holland.

Linked with a potential title-eliminator against Colby Covington or Belal Muhammad next, AllStars MMA staple, Chimaev has since welcomed a fight with New Zealand-born favorite, Whittaker.

“I think I will fight Robert Whittaker,” Khamzat Chimaev said. “He’s got no opponent. Paulo Costa ran away after talking that much about me and Robert. So, I will fight Whittaker. I want this fight although I like him as a human being. He is a solid guy, doesn’t talk trash, doesn’t cross any lines.” 

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Robert Whittaker remains coy on potential fight with Khamzat Chimaev

Reacting to Chimaev’s claims that he will fight him next, former champion, Whittaker remained receptive to the call out, in rather coy fashion, however.

“Oh yeah, cool,” Robert Whittaker said of the fight during an interview with Submission Radio. “Let’s do it. Whatever. Yeah, I don’t know. Like, if it’s a fight that gets presented to me, then it is what it is. Yeah, I think it’d be a good fight. I think he’d (Khamzat Chimaev) be a hard fight. I think he’s a phenomenal fighter. I think he has a lot of strengths. I think I have a lot of strengths. I think I’m a hard fighter for him just the same.”

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“And I’m quite good with my hands, can stuff a lot of takedowns,” Robert Whittaker continued. “I’m hard to hold down – I’m squirmy, you see. Yeah, it’ll be an interesting fight. That’ll be a showstopper for sure. I’m sure it’ll get a lot people interested and excited.”

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.