Robert Whittaker: I Can Make It A Terrible Night For Jared Cannonier

Robert Whittaker made a successful return to the Octagon at UFC Fight Island 3 after a short layoff, defeating Darren Till. Ranked as the number one contender, the 29 year old could make a good argument that he deserves the next title shot against the winner of Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa at UFC 253 next month.

However, Whittaker is set to return at UFC 254 on October 24th against Jared Cannonier, who has finished his three last opponents, after moving down to middleweight. A victory over ‘The Killa Gorilla’ would undoubtedly warrant a title shot next.

Breakdown Of The Matchup

Speaking to SiriusXM Fight Nation (transcript by The Body Lock), Whittaker acknowledged Cannonier’s power, but said he feels that he has an advantage in all other areas.

“My thoughts on him are he’s a dangerous guy, like very dangerous. He’s got knockout power,” Whittaker said. “He’s tough, he’s relentless. He goes forward, just pressures you and beats you up. That’s his whole thing, he’s a real big bully fighter, but he’s resilient to all other angles. You take him down, he gets back up. You try to bang with him, and he out-toughs you, and he’s got heavy leather.

“I guess where I stand on the matter, is that I think I’m just better than him across the board, I think I’m better striking, I think I’m faster, I think I can move faster. I think if I wanted to take it to the ground, I can mix that in and make it a terrible night for him. And I am tough enough, and I have the cardio to go the entire distance, to drag it out, to make it a war of attrition with him. I think I can take this fight to a place that will make him very, very uncomfortable.”

Staying Active

Whittaker will make his next walk to the Octagon roughly three months after his last outing. This will be a rather quick turnaround for someone who had struggled with motivation and burnout issues in recent years. But the former UFC middleweight champion is now over it, and just wants to stay active.

“I’m done waiting. I’m done having such long periods of time before fights,” Whittaker said. “For one, it’s my trade, it’s what I do to make a living. To be honest, it’s not a bad job.

“Two, I enjoy fighting. That’s what I enjoy doing. I’m good right now, I’m healthy. Why shouldn’t I fight again? I have nothing planned for October.”

Who do you have winning the fight next weekend, Robert Whittaker or Jared Cannonier?

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