- Name: Robert Whittaker
- Pro MMA Record: 23-5-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
- Nickname: The Reaper
- Current Streak: 3 Wins
- Age: 30 | Date of Birth: 1990.12.20
- Last Fight: April 17, 2021 in UFC
- Weight Class: Middleweight | Last Weigh-In: 185.5 lbs
- Affiliation: PMA Super Martial Arts Centre
- Height: 6'0" (182cm) | Reach: 73.5" (187cm)
- Career Disclosed Earnings: $855,000 USD
- Born: New Zealand
- Fighting out of: Menai, New South Wales, Australia
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Robert Whittaker is an Australian welterweight fighter currently signed to the UFC. He is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a black belt in Hapkido and Karate. He trains out of PMA Super Martial Arts in Menai, New South Wales, Australia and Tristar in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has notable wins over Benny Alloway and Colton Smith. He was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes in the welterweight division as well as the winner of "Knockout of the Season". Of his eleven career wins, ten have been finishes with equal numbers of submissions and T/KOs.
Whittaker was born in New Zealand but moved with his family to Australia shortly afterward, and refers to himself as “Australian raised.” His father was a believer in the value of martial arts, and enrolled him in Karate at an early age. Whittaker spent several years studying this discipline before moving to Hapkido under Henrry Perez. A lifelong student of martial arts himself, Perez recognized the potential of MMA and incorporated MMA training into his academy in 2003, and Whittaker took to the sport immediately. He has quickly made his mark on the Australian MMA scene with an aggressive fighting style that sees him always looking for – and usually getting – a quick finish.
Robert began his professional career in 2009 with a first round TKO. In his first two years, he would compile a perfect 7-0 record with all of his wins coming by first round finish. On October 30, 2011, he lost his first fight when he traveled to Cotai, Macau for Legend Fighting Championships 6. Whittaker fought Hoon Kim but lost via submission in the first round. He would bounce back with two more first round TKOs and was able to pick up the Super Fight Australia welterweight title. He would go out of the first round for the first time in his career when he took on Jesse Juarez at Care Fighting Championships 21, but would end up losing by decision.
In mid 2012, Whittaker was chosen to be on The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes, where Australia faced off against the United Kingdom. He would win his two fights, both by knock out in the first round. He would go on to face Brad Scott in the tournament finals and won by unanimous decision to become the the winner of the season. He was also awarded "Knockout of the Season".
Robert would make his UFC debut against TF winner when he was matched up against Colton Smith at UFC 160. He was the underdog mostly due to the wrestling abilities of Smith however, Whittaker was able to fend off the takedowns and eventually finish Smith in the third round by TKO. He would next be matched up against Court McGee at UFC Fight Night 27, but the larger McGee was able to control much of the fght which resulted in Whittaker losing a split decision. He fought fellow Karate black belt, Stephen Thompson , at UFC 170. Throughout the fight, it appeared that Thompson was one step ahead, and eventually, Whittaker was knocked down and finished with strikes in the first round. This was the first time that he had lost by TKO in his career.
Whittaker would pick up a bounce back win at welterweight with a unanimous decision over Mike Rhodes at UFC Fight Night 43.
Whittaker would then move up to middleweight in his next fight, and compile a 7 fight unbeaten streak with notable wins over Uriah Hall, Derek Brunson, and Jacare Souza.
This win streak would land Whittaker an opportunity to fight for the interim middleweight championship, after then champion Michael Bisping announced a knee injury that would sideline him for several months.
Whittaker fought for the interim middleweight title against Yoel Romero on 8 July 2017 at UFC 213,
Whittaker won by unanimous decision, and became the first Australian and first New Zealand born fighter
to hold a UFC title. This fight would earn him a Fight of the Night bonus award.
Whittaker would be sidelined the rest of 2017 due to a knee injury. During this time Georges St. Pierre would fight Michael Bisping for the middleweight title and defeat him. St-Pierre would vacate the title, promoting Whittaker to undisputed champion.
Whittaker was scheduled to defend his title for the first time against Luke Rockhold, but had to pull out due to a improperly treated staph infection in his stomach. Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero would fight for the interim title, and the winner would fight Rob in a unification bout.
A rematch with Romero took place on June 9th, 2018 at UFC 225. Romero would miss weight, causing the fight to be a non-title catchweight bout. He defeated Romero in a back-and-forth fight by split decision. Their fight was awarded with 'Fight of The Night' honors. As Romero had failed to make weight, Whittaker received a $100,000 bonus, which would normally have been shared by both fighters.
Whittaker faced Israel Adesanya on 6 October 2019 at UFC 243. He lost the championship fight via
Whittaker would bounce back from this loss winning 3 straight against some of the top middleweight fighters. This included 3 unanimous decisions over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and most recently Kelvin Gastelum, in a fight that earned him fight of the night honors. His win over Gastelum took place at UFC Vegas 24/UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Gastelum, on April 18th, 2021.
Championships and accomplishments:
- 2018 GQ Australia Sportsman of the year award.
- BJPENN.COM: Scrap of the Month for June 2018.
- MMA Mania.com: UFC/MMA 'Fighter of the Year' 2017 - Top 5 List #2.
- Sherdog: 2017 Fighter of the Year.
- MMA DNA.nl 2017 Fighter of the Year and 2018 Fight of the Year.
- World MMA Awards: 2017 International Fighter of the Year.
*Ultimate Fighting Championship
- UFC Middleweight Championship (one time)
- Interim UFC Middleweight Championship (one time, first)
- First Australian UFC champion
- The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes Welterweight Tournament Winner
- The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes Knockout of the Season
- Fight of the Night (four times) vs. Clint Hester, Derek Brunson, Yoel Romero (X2)
- Performance of the Night (three times) vs. Brad Tavares, Derek Brunson, Ronaldo Souza
- Superfight Australia Welterweight Championship (one time)
- Australia Cup: Winner - 97 kg (2015)
- Australian National Wrestling Championships Gold medal - 97 kg (2017)
- Commonwealth Games: Qualified - 97 kg (2018)
Episode 3 Whittaker def. Luke Newman by KO at 0:19 of Round 1
Episode 11 Whittaker def. Xavier Lucas by TKO (Strikes) at 1:17 of Round 1
*TUF: The Smashes Finale Whittaker def. Brad Scott by Unanimous Decision
*Fight was on the UFC on FX 6 card