The UFC 217 main event between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre was of particular interest to interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, who’s supposed to fight the winner of Bisping-GSP to determine the undisputed champion. In a back-and-forth thriller, St-Pierre picked up his first stoppage win in eight years, choking Bisping unconscious on round three to become the new 185-pound king.
UFC president Dana White said that Whittaker is next for GSP, although fans should know by now that not everything ends up going according to plan. Whittaker spoke to news.com.au about how he viewed St-Pierre’s performance.
“To be honest, he looked slower than he’s ever been,” Whittaker said. “He’s just as crafty. You can see the intelligence is still there. His fight IQ is still there. He obviously hits harder at middleweight. But I hit hard and I hit fast — and much harder and faster than Bisping. And I have much better defence than Bisping. So it looks good.”
Whittaker also said that it would be a “dream come true” if he lands that St-Pierre fight next. With the UFC heading to Perth, Australia in February for UFC 221, Whittaker would love to compete in front of his home fans, but he’s also willing to wait for St-Pierre if it comes down to that.
“I’m happy to wait,” he said. “Fighting a legend like that is worth the time. My wants have to go on the back seat a bit for him. He’s a living legend and in respect I’ll do that. But if he’s going to hang around at middleweight we’ll touch gloves eventually. I’m confident.”
As for Bisping, whom Whittaker was actually supposed to fight at UFC 193 in November 2015, the 26-year-old suggested that “The Count” should hang up the gloves are losing his title.
“He could (keep fighting). But for him and his family’s sake, I hope he doesn’t,” Whittaker said. “Man, you’ve done enough. You know what I mean? You’ve gone to the highest level of the sport and back. And you’ve fought more than everyone. Dude, just enjoy it. But he’s a good fighter, he can do what he wants.”
Whittaker has not fought since winning the interim belt with a thrilling, come-from-behind unanimous decision win over Yoel Romero at UFC 213, and injury will otherwise keep him out for the rest of 2017.