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Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker appreciates Darren Till’s humor on social media, but he’s fully intent on bringing the fight to him on “Fight Island.”

Whittaker (20-5 MMA, 11-3 UFC) faces Till in the main event of the UFC’s July 25 event on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi as he makes his first appearance since he lost the middleweight title to Israel Adesanya last October.

Following that defeat, Whittaker took time off and subsequently revealed that he was suffering from burnout, needing to step away from the sport to recharge.

Despite the time away, Whittaker’s confidence hasn’t wavered, and he said he’s ready to make a statement against Till (18-2-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) in a matchup where he thinks he’s the more well rounded fighter.

“I think he’s got a good skill set, but I think, honestly, I think I’m better across the board,” Whittaker told Submission Radio. “I also hope I can get him out of there very quickly. And it’s not gonna be due to a lack of trying, trust me. But I’m prepared to make it a slugfest. I’m prepared to make it hell. I’m going to go in there, and I’m gonna do my thing. And how it happens and how it works is, I’m gonna take the win where I see it.”

The build-up to this fight has been rather cordial, with the two having a laugh at Till’s memes when the matchup was initially announced. But now that he’s weeks away from the fight, Whittaker has put all that banter behind him and is fully focused on the fight.

“Before the fight was lined up it was cool to just josh back and forth, have a bit of fun with it, (and) try to make some interest for the fight,” Whittaker said. “But once we kind of knew we were fighting, I don’t really care what sort of person he is. It’s just one of those things where all I’m focusing on now is just focusing on crushing him.

“Let me just say, I have no friends in the middleweight division. I can’t be friends with anybody I could be fighting. So, let’s just clear that up. And two, mate, we’re in the fight game. It’s cool to be lined up with a guy that isn’t acting like a Gronk, but at the end of the day, he’s coming to take what’s mine, and I’m coming to take what’s his, and that’s the game we’re in. That’s the fight game; that’s the fight world.”





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