The Ultimate Fighter: Smashes winner Robert Whittaker has announced that he will be moving up to the middleweight division for his next bout inside the UFC.
The Sydney based fighter confirmed the news on Australian MMA podcast This Week In MMA.
It's a somewhat unexpected move for the 23 year-old who has competed at welterweight for most of his career and is coming off an impressive win against Mike Rhodes late last month at the UFC Fight Night card held in New Zealand.
Speaking about the move, Whittaker said, "I've been fighting welterweight for a long time. Ever since I was 16, 17, 18. It's a long time for a lot of weight cuts and I've been gradually been getting bigger and bigger and the weight cuts became a little big harder and harder."
"It's not as if I'm in a position to not make the weight because I've had tonnes of practice and it's down to an art. I think it's for the longevity of fighting," he added.
"I heard Nate Marquardt actually mention it at the press-conference and it really hit home. He said that he spent 12 weeks training skills and preparing for skills rather than 12 weeks of dieting and that position that I find myself just about every-time. It's a rigorous diet. The fight really isn't the end game. It's making weight and trying to get there."
Whittaker also went on to say that he is hoping to get on the Sydney card rumoured to be happening later this year.