Coming off of his impressive first round knockout victory over Derek Brusnon last night (Saturday November 26, 2016), surging UFC middleweight contender Robbert Whittaker has his eyes fixed on one day hoisting up the 185-pound title, and he has an idea of who he wants inside the Octagon next to help him get there.

During the UFC Melbourne post-fight press conference last night, courtesy of MMA Junkie, Whittaker expressed interest in a potential throw-down with No. 5-ranked Gegard Mousasi next:

“He’s a top athlete, he’s a top fighter, and he’s a cool dude,” Whittaker said. “If that’s a fight the UFC wants, that’s a fight they’ll get.”

In the midst of Brunson’s usual first round blitz against Whittaker last night it seemed as though at one point the Australian was in trouble after eating a few shots from the heavy-handed Brunson. Whittaker would instead insist, however, that he was in fact not hurt but was instead just moving back to avoid anymore shots:

“It’s funny, because I actually remember in the fight as I was backing away, I was thinking, does he think he rocked me? I wasn’t rocked,” Whittaker said. “I was still in it. A lot of people were critical of his game plan charging forward, but ask the last four dudes. He takes you out of it.”

In the end Whittaker simply wants to prove he is belonging in the conversation of today’s top 185-pound competitors, and is looking for the hardest fights possible to prove so:

“I think they understand I’m for real and I’m here to stay,” Whittaker said. “This is my run.”

“I just want to move up. I want to take these hard fights, and fight these tough dudes and eventually fight for the belt. If I’m healthy and I’m ready, I’ll fight anywhere, any time.”

Is a match-up with Mousasi what makes sense in the next step for the steadily rising Whittaker? Or perhaps a different bout would better help his claim to fame? Let us know who you think the ‘The Reaper’ should throw-down with next.

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Has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) for the past several years. Also covers professional wrestling for WrestleZone and EWrestlingNews, and the Houston Texans for USA Today's Texans Wire.