Morning Report: Robert Whittaker considering a move up to 205 pounds: ‘I think it will be a more natural weight for me’

Robert Whittaker | Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Robert Whittaker is thinking about a move up to light heavyweight.

This weekend, Whittaker takes on Marvin Vettori in the co-main event of UFC Paris. It’s a fight between the No. 2 and No. 3 middleweights in the world. While ordinarily that would mean the winner should get a title shot, with two losses to current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, Whittaker finds himself without a clear path back to the championship. Given that, Whittaker has been mulling over a jump up to the light heavyweight division in the future.

“I’ve been thinking about 205 a fair bit,” Whittaker said on Submission Radio. “The problem is, I wouldn’t go to 205 to come back down to 185, just because I don’t want to go to 205 as a fat 185, right? [Laughs]. You see a lot of guys try that and they just get starched. And then they come back down. It doesn’t make sense.”

A former middleweight champion, Whittaker has had a highly successful career at 185 pounds, however, “Bobby Knuckles” didn’t start his UFC tenure at that weight class. Whittaker came into the UFC by winning The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes welterweight tournament. After an up and down start to his UFC run, Whittaker moved up to middleweight in 2014 and hasn’t looked back, and the former champion says that when he does go up to 205 pounds, he’ll want to set himself up for similar success.

“When I moved up to 185 the first time, there was no way I would never go back down to 170,” Whittaker said. “I could never. Got to put on muscle, you have to train at that weight. Got to do all of the bits and bobs, then and there. But I’ve been thinking about 205. I think it will be a more natural weight for me, personally, but the height disadvantage is annoying. I don’t know if I would want to deal with that.”

Outside of the potential size disadvantage he would face, there’s one other thing weighing on Whittaker’s mind about a move up: he’s doing just fine at middleweight. Though Whittaker is 0-2 against Adesanya, he’s beaten every other man he’s faced at 185 pounds, and that’s a hard thing to give up for one risky gamble.

“Once I make the decision to go up to 205, I’m there,” Whittaker said. “That’ll be my division. I’d finish my career there, for better or worse. I’m doing really well at 185. Really well. I’m definitely one of the most dangerous men in the division.”

UFC Paris takes place this Saturday at the Accor Arena in Paris, and is headlined by a heavyweight bout between former interim champion Ciryl Gane and Tai Tuivasa.

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VIDEO STEW

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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Dope.

poetry in motion. pic.twitter.com/M4RvVtFQId

— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouse) August 29, 2022

Friendship.

I’m honored to get a FaceTime from the champ @MightyMouse. I tried to warn you all: He’s STILL getting better at 36 years old.

Demetrious is coming back to PHX to train with me in November. MIGHTY MOUSE IS F’N BACK! x pic.twitter.com/fe0DhR0f0h

— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) August 27, 2022

The return of Nick Diaz.

I got my Twitter back

— Nick Diaz (@nickdiaz209) August 28, 2022

Not a terrible gimmick.

Smesh bro’s X Diaz bro’s https://t.co/ParywZ6dcS

— D (@darrentill2) August 28, 2022

Merab Dvalishvili returns to Georgia.

Merab Dvalishvili returned to Georgia after his victory over Jose Aldo and was greeted by fans at the airport ❤@MerabDvalishvil is the real People’s Champ! How can you not love him?! #UFC #MMA #MerabDvalishvili #TheMachine #SetantaSports #UFConSetantaSports pic.twitter.com/gv97zjoOJi

— Giorgi Kokiashvili ✊ (@iHeartGeorgius1) August 27, 2022

Damn.

You disclose everything?
Have you disclosed why a fighter under your program ended up in a UFC title fight with a contagious and debilitating bacterial gut infection? https://t.co/5qpT52fD6F

— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) August 29, 2022

Emphasis on contagious

— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) August 29, 2022

Yes, I just think athletes should be warned about Dan & Andy. I followed their program when I fought Valentina. When I contracted C Diff, Andy told me I was “basically healthy” (4 different times) & to not take antibiotics. Neither mentioned that its contagious. https://t.co/85QGFNXzbb

— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) August 29, 2022

Just for reference, C Diff actually kills people. About 500,000 a year. I walked around for months with it, thinking I was “basically healthy” with a contagious infection. I fought for the world title with it ‍♀️.
Andy is so far outside his lane he’s on the wrong side of the road.

— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) August 29, 2022

Andy made 3 or 4 IG posts about me before the fight. He flew to TX & stayed in my home. I bought his kids toys when they were sick. But after the title fight? Dude was a ghost. Wouldnt publicly acknowledge me. Said he “forgot”. Not the kind of guy any athlete wants on their team.

— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) August 29, 2022

THIS MOTHERFUCKER@DrAndyGalpin you should be ashamed of yourself!

This is Unfuckingbelievable https://t.co/V50UCC4jp9

— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) August 29, 2022

Gross. Just gross.
Andy advised me to fight a world title fight with a SEVERE & CONTAGIOUS gut infection. Now he’s spouting about how gut health affects performance. Yet no mention of how he advised the OPPOSITE, less than a year ago, or the consequences of his advice. What a https://t.co/V50UCC4jp9

— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) August 29, 2022

Couldn’t even write “I learned this the hard way after an athlete I worked with was harmed” or “I looked into this because of a situation I was in less than a year ago”
Nope, just gonna carry on as though nothing happened. Absolutely classless.

— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) August 29, 2022

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Kevin Holland (23-7) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (16-2); UFC 279, Sep. 10.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.

EXIT POLL

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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