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Robert Whittaker considering ‘permanent’ move up to light heavyweight, despite ‘annoying’ tall guys

A former welterweight making a permanent move to light heavyweight?

Robert Whittaker used to fight at welterweight, but he said earlier in the year that he’d like to “dabble” at light heavyweight as well, which is 35 lbs heavier than his original division. Apparently, the former UFC middleweight champion is more serious about the idea, and he isn’t just looking at “fun” one-off fights anymore.

“I’m definitely thinking about going up to light heavyweight. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, just because I like the idea,” Whittaker told Submission Radio.

The 5-foot-11 Whittaker joked that the idea of dealing with all “the tall guys” at 205 lbs would be “kind of annoying,” but the main thing that gives him pause is that any move up would really have to be permanent.

“I’ve been thinking about 205 for a fair bit. The problem is, I wouldn’t go to 205 to come back down to 185, just because I don’t want to go into 205 as a fat 185-er,” he said. “You see a lot of guys try that, and they just get starched. And then they come back down. It doesn’t make any sense.

“So, when I moved up to 185 the first time, there was no way, like, I would never come back down to 170 — could never. You gotta put on muscle, gotta train at that weight, gotta do all the bits and bobs then and there. But I’ve been thinking about 205. I think it would be a more natural weight for me personally. But the height disadvantage is annoying, I don’t know if I want to deal with that. I don’t know.

“Once I make the decision to go up to 205, I’m there, that will be my division. I’d finish my career there, for better or worse. I’m doing really well at 185. Yeah, like, I’m definitely one of the most dangerous men in the division. It’s just, yeah, don’t know. Gotta think about it a lot.”

The light heavyweight title picture is pretty wide open now, but as even the bigger middleweights in Israel Adesanya and Luke Rockhold have learned, jumping 20 lbs to the very top of that division isn’t going to be easy.

Whittaker, who fought five times as a UFC welterweight, will have at least one more bout at middleweight, as he is currently booked to face Marvin Vettori at UFC Paris next month.