Not one to shy away from a challenge, Robert Whittaker will have the opportunity to add a Commonwealth Games gold medal next to his UFC middleweight championship belt.
Wresting Australia has today officially confirmed that UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will compete for Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games this April on the Gold Coast.
The announcement comes after speculation as to whether UFC officials would allow Whittaker to compete at the games.
Whittaker will lead an eight-person strong wrestling team for the games and will compete from the 12th to 14th of April.
Whittaker has spoken regularly of his desire to compete at the games and insists that it can only help him in his preparation for his first title defence against Cuban Yoel Romero.
Romero is a former freestyle wrestler himself, having won a silver medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and multiple world championships.
Whittaker has already taken to social media with an offer to fight Romero in Chicago in June.
Whittaker will compete in the 97kg division for the games, 13kg heavier than his 84kg UFC middleweight division.
Australian team: Women – Rupinder Kaur 50kg (Vic), Carissa Holland 53kg (NSW), Naomi de Bruin 76kg (NSW. Men – Tom Cicchini 50kg (Qld), Mehrdad Tarash 65kg (Qld), Connor Evans 74kg (Vic), Jayden Lawrence 86kg (NSW), Robert Whittaker 97kg (NSW).
My earliest combat sports memory is watching David Tua knock people out with his left hook. I am extremely passionate about combat sports in Australia and my home country of New Zealand and I endeavour to grow the profile of martial arts and its athletes in both countries. Persistent Brazilian jiu-jitsu battler.