“I’m not going anywhere.”
Those were the words that came out of Robert Whittaker’s mouth just minutes after losing his middleweight championship to Israel Adesanya in the main event at UFC 243.
Whittaker (21-5) caught Adesanya (18-0) with a nice over hand right before “The Last Stylebender” rolled off the punch and landed two short check hooks that dropped Whittaker and ended the fight.
Robert Whittaker, who was upset, handled the loss with class.
“Obliviously, I’m disappointed,” said Whittaker at his post fight press conference. “I took the fight to him. Me and him are two of the best strikers in the world. It was tic for tack and then I got caught. It happens.”
“The Reaper” was unbeaten at middleweight prior to last night. Now he claims he’s going work hard to get his belt back.
“I’m 28 and this is my first loss in the division,” said the Australian native. “Believe me when I say ‘I’m not going anywhere.’”
Last night’s fight from Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia was Whittaker’s first fight since June of 2018. Injuries plagued the former champion, but now he believes those days are behind him. Despite a long lay off and a loss on home soil, Whittaker vows he’ll be active in the near future.
“I didn’t plan those long gaps,” said Whittaker. “It was injuries and illness that kept me from the octagon, but thank God I’m not injured. I got clipped, but I’m healthy…I’m coming back to work.”
Whittaker and Adesanya fought in front of a UFC record breaking 57,127 people in attendance. Whittaker would love to run it back, but he knows he’ll need to win a fight or two in order to get another crack at the belt or Adesanya. As for the new champ, he’ll likely take on Paulo Costa next.