Is Sean Strickland vs. Robert Whittaker next? Coach Eric Nicksick believes that is the fight to make

Sean Strickland

Xtreme Couture coach Eric Nicksick likes the idea of Sean Strickland stepping inside the Octagon with another former middleweight champion — Robert Whittaker.

After pulling off a stunning upset against Israel Adesanya in September to claim the 185-pound crown, Strickland surrendered the title to Dricus Du Plessis in his first defense at UFC 297. A month later, Whittaker bounced back following a second-round knockout loss against DDP by outworking one-time title challenger Paulo Costa at UFC 298 in Anaheim.

Asked about a potential meeting between the former champions, Nicksick had plenty of positive things to say about ‘The Reaper’ and his impressive middleweight run over the years.

“It’s a great fight,” Nicksick told MMA Junkie Radio. “I still think Robert’s the most talented from top to bottom in the division, in my opinion. I think he has the most skill set and is the most dangerous. I’ve always been a huge fan of Robert Whittaker. I’ve stolen a lot of techniques off of him, things that he’s done.

“I’ve seen him in the locker room, warming up, doing things that I put in my database and taken for good reason. I think he’s one of the best 185ers to ever do it, and I think had it not been for Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker would have been holding that belt for a long period of time.”

Over the last year, Strickland has emerged as the promotion’s most polarizing figure. In turn, his star power has skyrocketed, making him a beloved figure among fight fans all over the world and Nicksick has no problem with ‘Tarzan’ staying active to capitalize on his growing popularity.

“He’s a prize fighter, and I think money talks,” Nicksick said. “So, he’s in a position where he can maximize on his value in the situation that he’s in, then why not? Why not go fight? He hasn’t been taking a whole lot of damage other than the Alex Pereira fight, so he’s relatively healthy. He’s still back in the room, he’s still training hard, he’s doing everything he’s supposed to do.”

Sean Strickland and Robert Whittaker currently occupy the No. 1 and No. 3 spots in the middleweight top 10.