Robert Whittaker Will Not Fight for UFC Title Next- Dana White Gives an Update

Published 01/11/2021, 1:32 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 24: Robert Whittaker of New Zealand poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 24, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC President Dana White spoke out at an ESPN+ Q&A via MMA Junkie and ran through several pressing fan questions. The MMA community has been buzzing to find out several changes that the New Year will ring in. Chiefly, there have been several moving parts in the last few weeks that the UFC has not been active.

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White provided some clarity about the future of former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, who is a marquee divisional player. ‘The Reaper’ has managed to bounce back to winning ways after being defeated by current champion Israel Adesanya. Whittaker was brutally stopped early into the second round of his contest with ‘The Last Stylebender’.

Dana White on what’s next for Robert Whittaker

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The long-time boss of the UFC shed some light on Whittaker’s path back to UFC gold. Despite his winning streak over some of the best middleweights on the planet, it seems like Whittaker still has some work to do. Dana explained in brief that ‘The Reaper’ isn’t in the immediate line for a title shot.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – JUNE 20: Dana White, UFC President gives a speech during 2019 UFC Performance Institute Panel and UFC Fight Night Shenzhen Press Conference at UFC Performance Institute Shanghai on June 20, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Yifan Ding/Getty Images)

“I don’t think he’s going to get a title shot next. He’ll have to fight somebody else first. It’s going to depend on what happens with Israel and Jan. We’ll see what happens.”

The murky middleweight division

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The 185-pound division is currently in a state of flux, given that the champion is set to move out of the division. Israel Adesanya is about to head up to light heavyweight and fight Jan Blachowicz for the 205-pound title. This will lead to a significant gap in the timeline when it comes to Adesanya defending his middleweight strap.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (L-R) Robert Whittaker of New Zealand punches Darren Till of England in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Not to mention, there are plans laid out that Adesanya will face Jon Jones sometime in 2021. The two fighters have been beefing on social media, and it’s clear that they are on the warpath. It remains to be seen how long the middleweight contenders will be on the shelf due to this.

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Robert Whittaker fought last at UFC 254 where he sent Jared Cannonier, a top contender packing. Additionally, he also holds a win over Darren Till, which has aged particularly well. However, he will now lie in wait and have to knock back the next contender that may emerge somewhere in the first quarter of 2021. Names like Kevin Holland and Marvin Vettori immediately stick out as front runners.

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Darryl Pinto

1797 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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