Following a technical masterclass on Saturday night in Paris, people are wondering what is next for the former middleweight champion.
“The Reaper” beat the Italian Marvin Vettori in a dominant unanimous decision over three rounds. This makes Whittaker the only number one contender to have wins against every other top 4 fighters in their division. The fifth-ranked Alex Pereira is set to face Israel Adesanya for undisputed gold at UFC 281 in November. So, “Bobby Knuckles” must look further down the divisional ladder to find new opponents.
Just one spot below Pereira is former UFC middleweight title contender Paulo Costa. Costa is coming off a fight of the night performance at UFC 278 against the former middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold. The unanimous decision victory ended a two-fight skid and got him back in the win column.
Costa Calls for the Former Champion Robert Whittaker
A bout versus the Australian definitely appeals to “Borrachinha”, who tweeted “, When I fight (Robert) Whittaker, it won’t be by decision. I’ll go for the knockout. I hope he doesn’t change divisions before then,” alluding to the former welterweight Whittaker’s interest in moving up to 205lbs.
Costa also began to stir rumours that negotiations may already be underway when he retweeted photos of Whittaker with the caption “Guess what”.
Recovering from a hand fracture from his last fight, it’s unlikely we’ll see Paulo return to the octagon before 2023. After Whittaker left the Vettori fight relatively unscathed, it’s possible a Whittaker-Costa bout will be scheduled for early next year.
The self-declared “most dangerous man in the (middleweight) division”, Robert Whittaker, would be a great name for any middleweight contender’s resumé, and he may have even more opponent choices if he takes his rumoured move to light heavyweight.
Who do you think is next for “The Reaper”?