Robert Whittaker is looking to bounce back from his latest title defeat to Israel Adesanya with a win over fellow UFC title challenger and top-ranked middleweight Marvin Vettori, ‘The Reaper’ revealed in an interview with Submission Radio.
Whittaker is 0-2 against Adesanya but the former middleweight champion has no intention of moving up, or down, in weight as he targets a ‘July, August’ UFC return.
“I think he (Israel Adesanya) fights Cannonier next, and then I think I fight someone in the division. I don’t know how many people are left. Probably Vettori? Yeah, he would have to be the highest ranked next up, I believe,” Whittaker, who dropped a unanimous decision loss to Adesanya at UFC 271, said.
“I’m looking forward to [fighting again soon]. I’m going to enjoy my little break now and then get back in the gym, probably look for like a July, August sort of return,” he continued. “I think that will 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. But, yeah, that’s very rough, very rough.”
Whittaker might have lost to Adesanya at UFC 271, but some fans believe the Aussie should have walked away with the victory. Whittaker utilized a nice jab and lead left hook after being dropped in the first round, but Adesanya’s forward pressure and body kicks proved to be the difference-maker in the latter rounds.
Whittaker is still ranked #1 in the UFC middleweight rankings and #14 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings. He is considered one of the greatest middleweight fighters in UFC history.