5 Defining UFC Moments for Robert Whittaker

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Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Since joining the UFC roster in 2012, Robert Whittaker has become one of the promotion’s most consistent stars and is undoubtedly one of the greatest middleweights to ever compete in MMA. Before “Bobby Knuckles” steps into the Octagon for the main event of UFC Saudi Arabia against Ikram Aliskerov, let’s take a look at five of his greatest moments.

Related: UFC Saudi Arabia card, betting odds, start time, and TV info

Robert Whittaker vs. Brad Scott – UFC on FX 6

Coming off two first round knockout wins on TUF: Smashes, Robert Whittaker became the sole representative of Team Australia to make it to the final round. At UFC on FX 6, he would be paired against Brad Scott, whose professional record included a 100% finish rate.

Utilizing the blitzing offense he likely learned as a karate practitioner in his childhood years, Whittaker’s striking was simply too much for Scott to figure out. “The Reaper” would walk away with the unanimous decision and the tournament win.

Robert Whittaker vs. Clint Hester – UFC Fight Night 55

robert whittaker
Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

After five years of taxing his body to make the 170-pound limit of welterweight, Whittaker decided that he’d be better off building strength and trying his hand at middleweight. His first opportunity in the heavier class would happen in his hometown of Sydney, Australia against fellow TUF alum Clint Hester.

Hester would learn the hard way that the fight ending power his opponent displayed at welterweight followed him up the scale. After getting dropped in the first round, he wouldn’t survive the second. A flurry of strikes would force the TKO.

Robert Whittaker vs. Ronaldo Souza – UFC on Fox 24

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Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In case it wasn’t clear in his previous five consecutive wins since moving up to 185 pounds, Robert Whittaker was far removed from the inconsistency of his run at welterweight. His showing against Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza put everyone who wasn’t already aware on notice.

Related: 10 Best Finishes of UFC Saudi Arabia Fighters Including Robert Whittaker’s KO of Jacare Souza

In a brilliant display of the evasive defense, shot selection, and counter grappling that defined his championship run, “Bobby Knuckles” opened up in the second round to destructive results. The former Strikeforce champ endured a massive head kick and follow up strikes on the ground before the end was mercifully called. 

Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero – UFC 213

Riding a seven-win streak and an undefeated record at 185 pounds, Whittaker would have his first chance to win hardware at UFC 213. He would stand opposite of Yoel Romero, a Cuban Olympic silver medalist with his own resume of frightening finishes. 

“Bobby Knuckles” battled through a first-round knee injury to survive Romero’s high caliber wrestling and unorthodox bursts of strikes. His efforts earned him a UFC championship belt and Fight of the Night honors. His victory in the rematch at UFC 225 doubled down on the accomplishment. 

Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa – UFC 298

Leading up to his fight with Paulo Costa at UFC 298, Whittaker faced a crossroads. In his return fight following a TKO loss to Dricus Du Plessis that propelled the South African to a successful title shot, the former middleweight champion had to prove he was still a threat to the rest of the division.

Not only would he show that his skills haven’t slipped since that defeat, but he also confirmed that he still has the ability to survive the same type of fire fight that defined his career. Whittaker survived a scary first round ending to create a vintage performance on his way to a unanimous decision win.

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Ant Walker is a native of the Washington DC area that now lives in Los Angeles. He has been... More about Anthony Walker

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