UFC 225 is now available on Amazon Prime.
Robert Whittaker has been putting on one excellent performance after another since moving up to the Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight division. With convincing wins over high-level contenders like Yoel Romero (for the middleweight championship) and Ronaldo Souza, he has truly proven his worth in the weight class.
This weekend, he will once again face Romero in what could easily be the “Rematch of the Year,” if such recognition existed. Like Romero, Whittaker has fought only the best in the middleweight roster, and this is why the two fighters see themselves headlining UFC 225 at the United Center in Chicago.
Before the much awaited clash of two of the division’s finest, here’s a little look at “The Reaper” by the numbers:
6: Wins without a loss at Australian promotion Cage Fighting Championships, where he faced fellow “The Ultimate Fighter: Smashes” cast member Ben Alloway.
19: Seconds. That is all the time he needed to knock out Luke Newman and win his first “TUF” bout. Newman laid unconscious for several minutes as Whittaker earned himself an additional $25,000 for “Knockout of the Season” and a ticket to the semifinal round.
4: Losses on his ledger. In his first fight outside Australia, he lost via triangle choke to Hoon Kim at Legend Fighting Championship 6 in Macau, China. In 2011, he bowed to Jesse Juarez for the CFC welterweight championship. His two other losses were handed to him by Court McGee and Stephen Thompson, both in the UFC.
8: Victories in a row after losing to Thompson. His amazing run includes notable wins over Brad Tavares, Rafael Natal, Uriah Hall, Derek Brunson, Souza and lastly, Romero for the interim middleweight championship.
0: Losses at middleweight. Moving up a division proved to be an excellent decision as Whittaker has been flawless since knocking out Clint Hester in his 185 debut.
1: And only fighter to finish Souza since 2008. For his efforts, Whittaker earned a “Performance of the Night” bonus, his last of three, having also given the recognition following his wins over Tavares and Brunson.
3: “Fight of the Night” bonuses. Whittaker’s style is electrifying to say the least. His high-octane performances have earned him three “Fight of the Night” bonuses, with wins over Hester, Brunson and Romero.
74: Significant strikes landed on Romero in their first meeting. The Cuban, on the other hand, inflicted 48 strikes.
7: First round finishes to start his professional career. Five of them came by submission and one by knockout. In all, Whittaker has 11 stoppage wins.
2: Countries being represented. Whittaker has both New Zealand and Australian blood. In an interview, he said that everyone in his mother’s side is Kiwi but they have a strong Maori heritage.
27: Years old and already a world champion. Whittaker captured the interim belt at UFC 213. Later, he was promoted to undisputed champion when Georges St. Pierre wasn’t able to defend his belt.
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