Robert Whittaker says even in defeat he is the best middleweight in the world.
It has almost been two weeks since the long-awaited rematch took place between Whittaker and Adesanya at UFC 271. It was a close competitive fight compared to the first fight, however, Adesanya defended his belt and won via unanimous decision.
The night of the fight during the post-fight press conference, Whittaker believed he had done enough to win the fight and was heartbroken. He believes it is inevitable that a trilogy between the two will happen.
On Tuesday, the former middleweight champion spoke with Submission Radio, and when he was asked what his biggest takeaway was, he said that even in defeat he is the best middleweight in the world.
‘Best Middleweight In The World’
“I’m the best middleweight in the world, mate. Trust me. That’s my biggest takeaway. I have no feeling right now, and I’m enjoying the process. In every fight you see a new developed and eveolved version of myself. I’m going to be the best ever, it’s just a matter of time.”
While most people will probably scoff at those comments because Whittaker lost to Adesanya twice and does not have the belt, he explained what he really means.
“So, the only guy I’ve lost to in the middleweight divison – you know, it was a close, close fight. I know I lost, obviously. I lost, but I don’t feel like I was defeated in that fight, and that is the only guy that has beat me,” Whittaker said. “It is just a mental thing. I feel good. Please don’t headline this interview: Robert Whittaker thinks he is the best middleweight ever. That is just stirring the pot.”
Well, sorry about that headline, Rob. But, we’re running with it.
“Put it this way, the fashion that I lost the first time, in the fashion that I lost the belt, it would have to be the worst way to lose a belt. Try putting together another way to lose a belt, there is none worse. I lost the title by knockout, in front of the biggest crowd in UFC history in my hometown. I don’t think many fighters come back from that, and you can see that. Not only did I come back from that, I developed myself, I evolved myself and I got better. Much, much better, to the point where I took the fight to him. That’s a big improvement from the first fight.”
With two losses to the current champion, Whittaker has some more work to do to get back to another title fight but it seems he is game.