Eugene Bareman wasn’t serious with his comments on Robert Whittaker last month.
The City Kickboxing head coach created a stir last month when he criticized Whittaker for not taking a short-notice title fight with Israel Adesanya.
He even went as far as saying Whittaker had to go to the back of the line to get a title shot again as Marvin Vettori got the opportunity instead.
“When you turn down an opportunity like that, just like we know — when you turn down an opportunity like that now you have to sit at the back of the list again,” Bareman said. “Now he goes into the pool again.”
Bareman received plenty of criticism as well as hate for those comments.
But as it turns out, Bareman was only experimenting with trolling for the first time. And it’s fair to say he enjoyed it as well.
“I’m just having fun. Robert can probably do what he wants,” Bareman told Submission Radio. “I don’t care. (laughs). For the first time in my life, I had a little bit of fun trolling people. And I understand why Israel does it so often. I did a couple of interviews with Combat TV and we talked about how Robert doesn’t deserve a shot and this and that, and then I just talked about him now. But the truth is, I’m just having a bit of fun.
“What a bunch of bullshit. (laughs). The whole thing, the whole thing. The guy’s injured. The guy’s had surgery. Of course, man. I have a family. Come on. Give me more credit. Give me more credit. Give me more credit than that. The guy has four kids. I had 48 fights under my belt, I’ve been injured my whole career. You think I’m really [serious]? Come on. But it was fun. Me and the boys had a lot of fun with it. When we did the interviews with Combat TV, every single day they would screenshot a message from a Robert Whittaker fan, saying that they wish I was dead and hated my mother’s, father’s, mother. And it was fun. We entertained ourselves and it was good. Like, I enjoyed it. I understand why Israel and that do it. That was my first and probably last foray into trolling people. It’s an interesting pastime though, but not one I’m going to get into. But I did it the best. I held onto it for this long.”
Bareman: Whittaker Deserves Title Shot
As far as Bareman is concerned — all trolling aside — Whittaker deserves the next title shot which is hard for anyone to argue with.
Whittaker is on a three-fight winning streak following wins over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum.
“Let me also clarify, Robert deserves the next shot,” Bareman explained. “He’s found his way back, he deserves his best shot. We never expected him to take the damn fight. Let me have some fun with the Robert Whittaker fans.
“Especially cause I didn’t think he had such loyal fans. Let me have a little bit of fun, right up to this point. Look, the thing is, this is a lesson. This is a lesson for my fighters and all the fighters coming up through the ages. Do not give the internet any credence at all.
“… It’s Robert, it’s Robert. Nah, nah, I’m not trolling anymore. I promise you I’m not trolling anymore. Let’s just let logical thinking and calm minds, let’s let them kind of come back into the internet world. Let’s be real. Sorry, Robert. I don’t know how much attention Robert pays to the internet, but that was nothing aimed personally at Robert. That was just me and the boys having some fun. It wasn’t at your expense, Robert, it was mainly for the people – well, the idiots, some of your idiot followers. I hope you don’t mind me.”
You can watch the full interview below: