For the former middleweight champ, he believes a rematch with reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who defeated him by second round KO in 2019, is next.
The no. 1 contender listed a handful of reasons as to why he should be next for Adesanya.
“There is no other fight. There’s just that fight left. I have defended the number one spot three times against the next big thing,” Whittaker said about no. 4 contender Jared Cannonier. “I took this fight with Gastelum on a month’s notice when Costa pulled out.”
Despite Whittaker having his main event saved by Gastelum filling in on short notice, the former champ lamented not being able to fight his original opponent, no. 2 ranked middleweight Paulo Costa.
“I wish I was gonna fight Costa too, and I took it,” Whittaker said in reference to Gastelum filling in on short notice. “I switch from number two [contender] to number eight [contender]. Going from three to number eight, whatever it is, and I still took it. I adjusted and I got the win once again against a hard opponent.”
After Whittaker conceded that the reigning champion in Adesanya would be a tough fight for him, he then acknowledged yet again that a title shot should be next for the “defending” no. 1 contender.
“I think, no. I know that’s the only fight left,” Whittaker said.
Whittaker then reacted to no. 3 middleweight contender Marvin Vettori saying he was the one that deserved a title shot over Whittaker.
“I’ve fought nothing but number one contenders. I’ve already ran the gauntlet. Everybody that was running for a title and has a title shot if they beat me? I beat. That’s it,” Whittaker said. “Honestly, I like Marvin I guess. He’s alright. But I think there’s fights he still needs to make. I don’t think he’s fought some of the top three dudes, the top five dudes really that are really up there and killing it at the moment, the dangerous guys.”
Whittaker conceded that Vettori is up next to challenge Adesanya for the middleweight title, just after he gets his shot.
“He can wait his turn. Let me have my fight, then he can fight the winner of that,” Whittaker said. “Relax.”