Beginning his career fighting in Australia for the Cage Fighting Championships and becoming their welterweight champion, Robert Whittaker quickly found himself within the UFC rankings via The Ultimate Fighter – Smashes series.
Heading into the larger competition pool would mean that his wrestling skills would be put under pressure and for better or worse, Australia doesn’t have the most robust youth wrestling program. But through innovative techniques and hard work, Whittaker was able to keep fights standing and defend takedowns from even the highest level of Olympic wrestlers, en route to capturing the middleweight crown.
He did this while still training in Australia, where most people would assume the pathway to improvement would be to move overseas to a more “super” camp.
In this video study, I breakdown some of the techniques Whittaker has been able to use to keep the fight standing, most notably his use of an “active turtle” as seen later in the video.