Robert Whittaker Motivated By Loss To Du Plessis

Robert Whittaker returns to the Octagon this weekend at UFC 298, where he will look to right the wrongs coming off his last outing against Dricus Du Plessis, at UFC 290.

“The Reaper”, who is 1-2 in his last three fights, will hope to not suffer back-to-back defeats something he has only suffered once before in his MMA career. His opponent, Paulo Costa, finally returns for the first time since 2022 where he defeated another former middleweight champion in Luke Rockhold.

Despite having some positive things to say about Costa at the UFC 298 media day, Whittaker claimed Costa has never encountered a fighter like him.

“He’s a great fighter, he’s been in the conversation of the top 10 for forever, he’s a good fighter. He’s a power puncher, he pushes forward and he likes controlling and dictating the fight through that way.

“But I don’t think he’s encountered anyone like me, I don’t think anyone has until they come up against me. I’ve done everything, I’ve ticked every box, crossed every t and dotted every i in the last few months leading up to this fight, so I’m going into this fight cocked and ready.”

The former middleweight champion also reflected on his mentality going into his last fight with Dricus Du Plessis, and attributed his loss to his preparation.

“I think it is mentality, I do. I think it is how you approach training months out from the fight. Every time I went to the gym I was trying to win everything. I was trying to win my pad sessions, I was trying to win my matches and my roles, my rounds, my spars, everything. Everything I wanted to win I wanted to turn into a dog fight I wanted to give everything I had and I do think that bleeds over.

“Complacency is a toxin, it creeps up on you, you don’t realise it’s there until it is and as much as I hate the way it happened it was kind of the kick up the arse I needed.”

Check out the full UFC 298 media day appearance from Robert Whittaker above.