Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman has stated that he is open to fighting rising Aussie star Robert Whittaker. Whittaker caught the attention of the former champion after his impressive first-round TKO victory over Derek Brunson in Melbourne over the weekend.
“I know (Robert) Whittaker just won and I would definitely fight him if people are excited about that.” Weidman told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.
Weidman lost his UFC middleweight title late last year and recently suffered his second career defeat to Yoel Romero at UFC 205 in New York. Whittaker on the other hand has looked nothing short of spectacular since moving to the middleweight division, winning his last six fights in a row with three of them being KO/TKO finishes. The New Zealand born Sydney based fighter has made it clear that he wants a top opponent next.
“This is my run and I want to continue it. I want to fight these top five dudes and eventually go for the belt.” Whittaker said after defeating Brunson.
Weidman also said that he is eager to return to the octagon as soon as possible and has UFC 209 in Brooklyn in mind. UFC 209 is slated to take place on February 11 which would be a relatively short turnaround for Whittaker. However, it would also be the opportunity of a lifetime where a win could possibly earn him a title shot.
“I heard that he asked for a top five guy, I’m a top 5 guy, if he wants to fight me I’m down for that. Any of these up and coming guys that feel like they want a title shot, if they are able to beat me, then they are right there.” Weidman said.
A fight against Weidman would be the toughest and most high profile of Whittaker’s career. Weidman successfully defended the middleweight title three times after winning it against arguably the greatest UFC fighter of all time, Anderson Silva in 2013.
Whether the fight ends up taking place or not remains to be seen but it is now undeniable that Whittaker has put one of most talent-rich divisions in the UFC on notice.