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Is Robert Whittaker The True 185 Champ? Derek Brunson Says “Why Not”

Kelsey Mowatt

UFC

If you’re one of the people who views Robert Whittaker as the UFC’s true, middleweight champ, instead of Michael Bisping, well, it looks like Derek Brunson agrees with you.

Bisping’s reign as the 185 champ has taken a lot of heat over the last year or so, since he’s defended the title just once, and that was against Dan Henderson. Sure, “Hendo” is one of the all-time greats, but he was 47 when that fight went down, and he wasn’t ranked in the top 15. Now, Bisping’s second title defense will take place against Georges St-Pierre, November 4th, at UFC 217. A man, who while also being an all-time great, has never fought at 185 in the Octagon, and hasn’t competed in nearly four years.

Whittaker, meanwhile, is coming off a decision win over Yoel Romero to win the interm title, who is currently ranked #3. Prior to that, Whittaker bested “Jacare” Souza, who is sitting in the #4 spot. So, this could be why Brunson recently said this, when asked if Whittaker’s the true middleweight champ (quote via MMA Fighting):

“Why not?” Brunson said. “I have nothing against Bisping and I have nothing against how he does his business. It is kind of ridiculous, he’s holding up the division. I know he’s waiting for big fights, he’s about be done with his career, so I kind of give it to him in this aspect. At the same time, we’re trying to get this division going, the champ being active and everybody moving up.”

Brunson, who was stopped by Whittaker last November, certainly isn’t the only middleweight contender to share this view about Bisping holding up the division. Bisping – GSP is a fight that’s been highly scrutinized. So, who does Brunson believe is going to win the UFC 217 headliner?

“…I might go with Bisping. I might go with Bisping in a point-fighting situation. But I can see GSP holding him down, ground and pound. But I might take Bisping.”

Bruson, meanwhile, is preparing to face Lyoto Machida at UFC Fight Night 119, which will take place on Saturday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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