Robert Whittaker is looking to return to the octagon this summer. Whittaker is coming off his second defeat to Israel Adesanya and will be eager to return to winning ways later this year.
As far as opponents are concerned, Whittaker is seemingly eyeing Marvin Vettori, the No.3-ranked UFC middleweight. He offered some insight into the same while in conversation with Submission Radio, saying:
"I'll fight someone in the division. I don't know how many people are left. Probably [Marvin Vettori]. Yeah, he would have to be the highest-ranked, next up, I believe. I'm on a little break now and then I'll get back in the gym, probably look for, like, maybe a July-August sort of return. I think that'll be good. Because then I can get a third one in at the end of the year. So, I think that’s good timing for me.”
Watch Robert Whittaker's appearance on Submission Radio below:
Both Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori find themselves in an awkward position in the UFC middleweight division. Both fighters have lost to the reigning champ, Israel Adesanya, twice. They will have to put together significant win streaks if they are to earn another shot at 'The Last Stylebender'.
Robert Whittaker on Israel Adesanya dropping him in the first round at UFC 271
One of the key moments of the UFC 271 rematch between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker came when Whittaker was dropped towards the end of the first round. However, in the same interview with Submission Radio, the Australian revealed that the shot that dropped him wasn't too hard. He said:
"Other fighters will know. It's like one of those ones that just puts you on your bum but you're still there the whole time. So yeah, it wasn't too bad. It wasn't too bad. But, it's certainly dangerous because, you know, he's a great fighter. You don't want to be on your bum when you fighting someone like that."
The shot was somewhat reminiscent of the way Whittaker was dropped by Adesanya in their first fight at UFC 243 back in October 2019. 'The Reaper' was saved by the bell on that occasion.
Whittaker managed to bounce back after the first round and the next four were extremely close. Some fans and fighters even thought he did enough to win the fight on the scorecards. The judges scored the bout 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46 in favor of Adesanya.