With Robert Whitaker currently tearing through the middleweight division, UFC President Dana White has come out saying that a middleweight title fight could soon be coming to Australian shores.
“Let me tell you what: I’d love to be doing the middleweight world title back in Australia. How crazy you think that would be?” White told FOX Sports Australia’s UFC Fight Week.
All the pieces are seemingly falling into place for the 26-year-old Aussie. After recently demolishing Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, Whitaker is now riding a seven fight win streak and wants his shot at the title. With White now stating that the much maligned fight between current champion Michael Bisping and George St-Pierre will not take place, Whitaker may get his opportunity a lot sooner than many pundits expected.
With Whitaker’s recent success, and Australia’s excellent record at producing quality events, White says it is possible.
“I’ve been saying for a long time, Australia’s been such an amazing market for us. Every time, talk about good fights, every time we do a fight in Australia, the fights are incredible. They’re some of the best fights I’ve ever see in my life.” White said.
White’s statement is no exaggeration with some of some the UFC’s most memorable moments taking place in Australia. Who can forget one the greatest UFC heavyweight fight of all time between Mark Hunt and Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva in Brisbane in 2013? Or the card a year later in Sydney that produced 11 fights with 11 finishes. Then, in Melbourne in 2015, Holly Holm produced perhaps the biggest UFC upset of all time in knocking out Ronda Rousey in front of a record setting 56,000 fans.
“I always look forward to getting back to Australia. I love it there. Australia’s been very good to the UFC and to the sport of mixed martial arts. Now, it looks like you guys could potentially have a world champion.” White continued.
Like much of the MMA world, White was clearly impressed with Whitaker’s latest win and his rise through the rankings.
“That kid’s got absolute destructional power in both of his hands. When this guy starts punching, man, you’re in big trouble. He looked great, and he’s a super good guy. He has all the tools to be the first world champion out of Australia, in the UFC.”
As the youngest person in the top 15 of the middleweight division, Whitaker has time on his side and potentially many opportunities to fight for, or defend the title in his homeland.