Robert Whittaker is thinking about a move up to light heavyweight.

This weekend, Whittaker takes on Marvin Vettori in the co-main event of UFC Paris. It’s a fight between the No. 2 and No. 3 middleweights in the world. While ordinarily that would mean the winner should get a title shot, with two losses to current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, Whittaker finds himself without a clear path back to the championship. Given that, Whittaker has been mulling over a jump up to the light heavyweight division in the future.

“I’ve been thinking about 205 a fair bit,” Whittaker said on Submission Radio. “The problem is, I wouldn’t go to 205 to come back down to 185, just because I don’t want to go to 205 as a fat 185, right? [Laughs]. You see a lot of guys try that and they just get starched. And then they come back down. It doesn’t make sense.”

A former middleweight champion, Whittaker has had a highly successful career at 185 pounds, however, “Bobby Knuckles” didn’t start his UFC tenure at that weight class. Whittaker came into the UFC by winning The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes welterweight tournament. After an up and down start to his UFC run, Whittaker moved up to middleweight in 2014 and hasn’t looked back, and the former champion says that when he does go up to 205 pounds, he’ll want to set himself up for similar success.

“When I moved up to 185 the first time, there was no way I would never go back down to 170,” Whittaker said. “I could never. Got to put on muscle, you have to train at that weight. Got to do all of the bits and bobs, then and there. But I’ve been thinking about 205. I think it will be a more natural weight for me, personally, but the height disadvantage is annoying. I don’t know if I would want to deal with that.”

Outside of the potential size disadvantage he would face, there’s one other thing weighing on Whittaker’s mind about a move up: he’s doing just fine at middleweight. Though Whittaker is 0-2 against Adesanya, he’s beaten every other man he’s faced at 185 pounds, and that’s a hard thing to give up for one risky gamble.

“Once I make the decision to go up to 205, I’m there,” Whittaker said. “That’ll be my division. I’d finish my career there, for better or worse. I’m doing really well at 185. Really well. I’m definitely one of the most dangerous men in the division.”

UFC Paris takes place this Saturday at the Accor Arena in Paris, and is headlined by a heavyweight bout between former interim champion Ciryl Gane and Tai Tuivasa.

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The return of Nick Diaz.

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Kevin Holland (23-7) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (16-2); UFC 279, Sep. 10.

Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.


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