Michael Bisping and his forever-upcoming fight with Georges St-Pierrecreated a log jam that had domino effects far beyond what people could have imagined. At one point, fighters like Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero were on strike. Jacare Souza used the situation to leverage a better contract, while Gegard Mousasi left for Bellator. The new interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker doesn’t seem to care though.
“IT’S WORKED IN MY FAVOR WITH THAT FIGHT BEING SCHEDULED. I HAVE TO FIGHT MICHAEL — THERE’S NO ONE I ALSO CAN FIGHT — SO WITH THAT, THE EARLIEST I CAN REALISTICALLY FIGHT IS EARLY NEXT YEAR ANYWAY. THEY [THE UFC] KNEW I COULDN’T FIGHT UNTIL EARLY NEXT YEAR AND MICHAEL WANTED THAT FIGHT WITH GEORGES REALLY BADLY. SO, TO ME IT’S PERFECT AND THERE’S NO GUARANTEES WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. I’M HAPPY TO FIGHT GEORGES AS MUCH AS I AM TO FIGHT BISPING.” — ROBERT WHITTAKER SPEAKING TOFOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA.
“I’D LOVE TO FIGHT IN AUSTRALIA, WHOEVER IT IS I FACE, BUT STYLISTICALLY THEY’RE BOTH TOUGH DUDES AND THEY’RE BOTH TOUGH FIGHTS SO I’M HAPPY WITH BOTH MATCH-UPS. GEORGES IS A WELL-ACCOMPLISHED FIGHTER AND ONE OF THE BEST EVER BUT THIS ISN’T HIS DIVISION. MICHAEL IS A TOUGH. IF I HAD TO LEAN ONE WAY OR THE OTHER I’D PROBABLY LEAN TOWARDS MICHAEL. I THINK HE’S GOT WHAT TAKES TO GET IT OVER HIM. I REALLY DON’T CARE WHAT ANYBODY IN THE DIVISION DOES, AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T GET IN MY WAY, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? MICHAEL FIGHTING GEORGE DOESN’T IMPEDE MY END DESTINATION IN ANY WAY. REGARDLESS OF WHO COMES OUT OF THE FIGHT ON TOP, I’LL FIGHT THEM AND I REALLY AM HAPPY WITH BOTH.”
If you’ve been keeping an eye on Robert Whittaker through his rise to the top, it should be no surprise how nonchalant he is about the whole thing. Romero is a terrifying human being and Whittaker went every round with him at UFC 213 wearing a stone face and only one leg. As far as Whittaker is concerned; Bisping, St-Pierre, it doesn’t really matter. This Aussie just wants to bang, bro. St-Pierre actually staying at middleweight to defend a title if he wins, that’s a whole other story.
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 8/12/2017.