Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has set a “soft cap” of fighting until he is 35 years of age.
Anderson Silva recently competed in his last fight with the UFC late last month as he suffered a fourth-round TKO defeat to Uriah Hall. Despite a promising start, “The Spider” was knocked down in the third and fourth round before eventually succumbing to yet another loss.
While he could still fight for other promotions, many, including UFC president Dana White, urged the 45-year-old — who has just one win in his last nine outings — to call it a day.
Whittaker seems to be in agreement as he believes having the experience and talent isn’t enough to face top fighters when one’s physical attributes have declined.
Whittaker: This Game Never Gets Easier
In fact, “The Reaper” is a little bemused as to why fighters continue to fight well into their late thirties and forties as the fight game never gets easier.
When it comes to himself, the 29-year-old only sees himself competing until he’s 35. Depending on how he’s performing at the time, he could extend his career beyond that.
That said, if he starts to lose and get knocked out regularly, don’t expect the Aussie to continue competing.
“Hell no!” Whittaker said laughing in a recent interview when asked if he would compete at 45. “This game is stressful. That’s another thing — these guys that fight throughout their late thirties, early forties. This game never gets easier. Every fight never gets easier. The stresses and the nerves are always there. Like, always. I don’t know why they just keep throwing themselves into this game. It is crazy, in my opinion.
“… I have a soft cap, and I’m obviously going to go on how my body feels, but if I start getting knocked out and start losing, my health comes first, I’m gonna just bow out. I’ve got a soft cap at 35. Soft cap so if my body is really good and I’m still performing and everything is flowing, I’ll push it but if I’m not, then there’s heaps of other exciting sh*t I do. Play with my kids really. Let’s say, touch wood, I’m not performing as well as I want to at 35, then I’m gonna be in the prime physique to still run circles around my kids, which sounds like a pretty good gig.”
For now, Whittaker is still in his prime and is currently on a two-fight winning streak.
He bounced back from just his second career knockout defeat against Israel Adesanya last year with impressive unanimous decision victories over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier. He now expects to face Adesanya in a rematch next year.