Robert Whittaker “doesn’t know why” Conor McGregor wants to return to the UFC: “You need to dedicate every morsel of brain matter"

Robert Whittaker (left) can
Robert Whittaker (left) can't work out why Conor McGregor (right) keeps fighting [Images courtesy: @mmarcadepodcat on YouTube and @thenotoriousmma on Instagram]

Robert Whittaker recently shared his confusion at Conor McGregor's desire to continue fighting, following news that the Irishman's return bout had been canceled. 'The Notorious' has achieved immense success both in and out of the octagon, but still appears to have burning desire to compete.

McGregor has not fought since breaking his leg at UFC 264 in July, 2021, against Dustin Poirier. He was expected to return at UFC 303 against Michael Chandler on June 29, but according to reports, the former champion suffered an injury.

Whittaker, who will take on Ikram Aliskerov on short-notice at UFC Saudi Arabia on June 22 following Khamzat Chimaev's withdrawal, was recently interviewed by New York Post Sports.

The Australian was asked to share his thoughts on McGregor withdrawing from UFC 303, where he said:

"That's the problem with having fights few and far between... The chance of getting hurt, especially the training we do and the prep work we do, it's very high... The fact that he only fights once every few years, if that hits on the timeline then this happens."

He continued:

"The dude doesn't need to fight. I don't know why he's fighting anyway. [He's] rich as hell. I think fighting is one of those games where you need to dedicate every morsel of brain matter and focus and energy you have into the game. That is the sacrifice, is that it consumes you. And he knows that better than anybody else."

Watch Robert Whittaker discuss Conor McGregor's withdrawal below (11:25):

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Robert Whittaker reveals he didn't know who Ikram Aliskerov was while previewing their fight

Robert Whittaker was scheduled to take on Khamzat Chimaev in the main event of UFC Saudi Arabia on June 22. However, several days ago it was confirmed that 'Borz' has withdrawn from the bout due to a persistent and serious illness that had plagued his training camp.

The former middleweight champion will now face unranked Ikram Aliskerov, a touted prospect at 185 pounds who holds a 15-1 record - with his lone defeat coming against Chimaev in 2019.

Ahead of Whittaker's clash with Aliskerov, he was interviewed by the New York Post Sports, where he said this:

"Ikram brings a different threat to the table. I hadn't heard of him, or seen him fight before that. So, sometimes you've just got to take things as they come." [2:17-2:34 in Robert Whittaker's aforementioned interview]

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Edited by Tejas Rathi
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