Shortly after Georges St-Pierre defeated UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping in a triumphant return to the Octagon on Saturday night, his next opponent was seemingly announced. “It’s going to be [Robert] Whittaker,” UFC president Dana White told reporters at the post-fight conference, suggesting he’d like to see the French Canadian square off against the interim middleweight champ in a title unification bout. And apparently, Whittaker’s liking his odds in the potential match.
In a recent interview with Australia’s news.com.au, Whittaker pointed out a key weakness he observed in GSP’s fight, which saw the veteran win by putting Bisping to sleep with a rear-naked choke.
“To be honest, he looked slower than he’s ever been,” Whittaker said of St-Pierre’s performance. “He’s just as crafty. You can see the intelligence is still there. His fight IQ is still there. He obviously hits harder at middleweight.
“But I hit hard, and I hit fast — and much harder and faster than Bisping. And I have much better defense than Bisping. So it looks good.”
*Insert sipping tea GIF here.*
Whittaker became the interim champ after winning a unanimous decision over Yoel Romero in July at UFC 213.
Of course, even though White said Whittaker would be next, there’s no guarantee St-Pierre will stay in the middleweight division. Many are speculating that he might vacate the title for fights in weight classes more to his advantage. There’s been talk of a bout with welterweight champ Tyron Woodley (to reclaim the title he never actually lost when he retired in 2013), or a superfight with UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor.
Either way, Whittaker is patient — which he’d have to be, given how slow he seems to think GSP moves.
“If I got the privilege of fighting him? Man, dream come true. I’m happy to wait,” Whittaker told news.com.au. “Fighting a legend like that is worth the time. My wants have to go on the back seat a bit for him. He’s a living legend, and in respect I’ll do that. But if he’s going to hang around at middleweight we’ll touch gloves eventually. I’m confident.”
Very confident, apparently. Well, you know who else was confident? Bisping.