Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker Owns the Cage
He may only stand 5’11 and weigh 185 pounds (84 kilograms), but Robert Whittaker looms over the MMA octagon like a gargantuan monster devouring everything in his path.
Building a Reputation
The New Zealander broke into the MMA professionally in March 2009 when he signed with Australia’s Xtreme Fighting Championship. He opened with a first round TKO and was 6-0 over his first two years in the professional circuit.
In October 2011, Whittaker suffered his first loss, falling to Hoon Kim in his first outside Australia. He would suffer his second loss a year later, but earned three more victories during that span, ending 2012 at 9-2.
Taking the Ultimate Challenge
The Reaper had performed so well that he caught the attention of Henry Perez who signed Whittaker in 2012. He moved into the Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes series, pitting eight Australians against eight from the United Kingdom.
The New Zealander was the talk of the series, especially after his opening match. In his first fight, he blasted Luke Newman in the chin, knocking him out for several minutes before he regained consciousness. That earned him a bonus for the “Knockout of the Season.” He advanced to the finals where he would win, becoming the first winner of the Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes series.
The series catapulted him into stardom in the UFC. He soon found himself in major bouts, beginning with a third-round victory over Colton Smith in May 2013. However, the new competition proved to be a challenge. Whittaker dropped his next two bouts, falling to 11-3.
Moving Up in the World
In June 2014, the welterweight defeated Mike Rhodes to end his slump. That would also be his last fight in the welterweight class, as he moved to the middleweight division. Those who were concerned that the change in class would pose a challenge were quickly schooled. Whitaker defeated Clint Hester in November of that year, starting a run of eight straight victories, including back-to-back decisions over Yoel Romero. The victory gave the New Zealander the Middleweight Title.
Whittaker was dominating the new weight class earning four TKO victories during the streak. However, all good things must come to an end and that happened on October 5, 2019, when he was defeated in the second round against Israel Adesanya. The defeat was his first loss in five years.
Whittaker’s next bout against Jared Cannonier was cancelled due to the pandemic, but he finally reentered the octagon in July 20, where he defeated Darren Till. The Cannonier bout was rescheduled to October 20, where the Reaper dominated, bringing his opponent into submission in a unanimous decision.
Building an Impressive Legacy
Robert Whittaker is 22-5 in his professional career, earning nine wins by knockout and five by submission. He held the Middleweight belt until his loss in October 2019 and was named the Fighter of the Year in 2017. That included being named International Fighter of the Year that same year.
Whittaker has proven to be a dominant force in the octagon. Truly earning a name that even the Grim Reaper would be proud to bestow upon him.
At fatboyfight.com.au, we love Robert and all that he stands for, and who he stands against, for that matter!