Robert Whittaker has not competed since June 2018, but he is not about to dread potential ring rust.
Whittaker is set to clash with Israel Adesanya in a UFC middleweight title unification bout. Whittaker holds the 185-pound gold, while Adesanya is the interim titleholder. The two will collide in the main event of UFC 243 on Oct. 5, this year.
Speaking to the reporters during a conference call, Whittaker made it very clear that while he feels ring rust is very real, he was sure that he would not be a victim of it (via MMAJunkie.com).
“I do consider in getting rusty in the ring if you are not making certain things to prepare yourself for the competition,” Whittaker told reporters, including the MMA Junkie, on Wednesday’s UFC 243 conference call.
“If you are not competing at all, if you have not played at all and you are not used to the adrenaline dump, and not used to the pressure that comes with fighting, then unquestionably the pressure is going to get to you and you might stumble.”
He continued saying, “I have been fighting in jiu-jitsu, I have been competing in wrestling, I have been wrestling in ways to improve the pressure and feel that. There are methods to combat that pressure. I also consider once you reach a particular level – you understand what to do. I have been there before, I have felt the pressure before, and I know that come October I am going to walk in there and fight and give my best.”
UFC 243 will be held inside the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. This will be Whittaker’s first middleweight title defense. While he had defeated Yoel Romero in their rematch last year, “The Soldier of God” missed weight so it was not a title bout.