As Robert Whiteford approaches 40, the Scottish featherweight shows no sign of slowing down.
Whiteford (16-4, 1NC) returns this Friday at Bellator 281 in London, England, where he takes on German standout and former title challenger Daniel Weichel. The 39-year old is technically on a four-fight win streak, discounting a No Contest against Andrew Fisher last year.
That’s a fight Whiteford wants back — Fisher is also competing on the card at the SSE Arena, Wembley on Friday — and he told Cageside Press that his continued success boils down to miles on the clock, or lack thereof.
“Yeah. I mean I suppose it just depends how much miles you’ve got on your clock. Hard miles,” Whitedford said, when asked if seeing fighters like Yoel Romero and Lyoto Machida continuing on into their mid-40s was inspiring. “I was late entering this sport, I didn’t start my first professional fight until 2009. So I was a wee bit later in here, so I haven’t got as many miles on my body as most people would have at 40 if they’d been fighting for a longer time.”
Whiteford admits that he does think about the end of his career. “You always say ‘one more, next one’ or think about it. Unless I go in there and get my head kicked in, there’s nothing going to make me not want to do it again. Until I feel I can’t compete in there, or even in the training room with these younger guys, then there’s nothing to discourage me.”
The featherweight also pointed out that avoiding taking too many beatings may have extended his career.
“I’ve been fortunate enough that my 20 fights or 21 fights, I’ve handed out more beatings than I’ve took. And even even the fights I’ve lost have been split decisions and decisions, very close fights. So until I take a beating in there, you’re going to need to beat me out of there basically until I say ‘I’m not doing this again.’ When I can compete in the training room and obviously when it comes fight night, I’m more than happy to keep doing it until the wheels fall off.”
Watch the full Bellator 281 media day appearance from Robert Whiteford above. Whiteford faces Daniel Weichel in the featherweight division this Friday, May 13, 2022 as part of Bellator 281 at the SSE Arena, Wembley in London, England.