Robert Whittaker not keen to fight Khamzat Chimaev, ‘the rankings are there for a reason!’

By Andrew Whitelaw - April 18, 2023

Robert Whittaker has ruled out an imminent fight with Khamzat Chimaev.

Khamzat Chimaev Robert Whittaker

‘The Reaper’ is very much in the title conversation at middleweight and sits at #2 in the division following his unanimous decision win over Marvin Vettori in September.

The Australian’s only losses at 185 lb have come against champion Israel Adesanya. ‘The Last Stylebender’ won the belt from the Sydney-sider when he knocked him out in Melbourne at UFC 243. Robert Whittaker earned a rematch in February 2022 but came up short against with the Nigerian-Kiwi who secured the unanimous decision.

Robert Whittaker is not short of suitors for his next bout, and ruled out taking on undefeated star, Khamzat Chimaev. The Swede has made a big name for himself since arriving in the UFC with 6 straight wins inside the Octagon – although only two of them have been at middleweight.

“He’s [Khamzat Chimaev], he’s not in the division rankings,” said Robert Whittaker when speaking on the MMA Hour.

“I’m not a huge fan of guys just sliding in and fighting wherever they want. Yeah, it’s a different place. The rankings are there for a reason, I like fighting top-5 guys. That’s just where I’m at. I like fighting top-5 guys because…they’re the best of the best,” he added.

Chimaev is ranked at #3 in the welterweight division and is coming off of a first-round submission win over Kevin Holland at UFC 279. The bout took place at a catchweight of 180 lb after Chimaev missed weight for his original bout against Nate Diaz.

Another man who Robert Whittaker has ruled out fighting is Paulo Costa. The Brazilian was due to take on ‘Bobby Knuckles’ at UFC 284 but the fight was cancelled after negotiations broke down. It’s a disappointment that the former champ has not yet forgiven.

Paulo Costa Robert Whittaker

(via Zuffa)

“I’m not fighting him [Paulo Costa] because mate, this is the second time I was supposed to fight him and he’s pulled out,” Robert Whittaker explained. “And it just mucks everything up, I have to do a whole camp and I make expenses and costs and everything like that to get to a point where he falls away. This is the second time he’s done it. I want a fight that’s going to happen.”

Who would you like to see Robert Whittaker fight next?


Robert Whittaker UFC