Whittaker ‘would love to be part’ of UFC beach brawl
Robert Whittaker wants to challenge Englishman Darren Till on Fight Island as part of his push towards reclaiming the UFC middleweight title.
Four months on from his shock UFC disappearance, Whittaker is now back in training and "definitely keen" for what he hopes will be an August showdown with Till.
Australia's first UFC champion has also spoken of a potential re-match with new UFC middleweight king Israel Adesanya, who took his title in front of almost 60,000 fans last October.
Already, Whittaker has spoken via zoom with UFC president Dana White to discuss the fight company's plans to have an island available for international fighters - complete with beachside Octagon - by June.
The Sydneysider's agent, Titus Day, has also opened discussions with matchmaker Mick Maynard about a potential fight against the Englishman against whom he was already being tipped to fight before the COVID-19 outbreak.
The revived Till push comes only days after Whittaker spoke with News Corp Australi a about his shock breakdown early this year which not only saw the Aussie withdraw from UFC 248, but disappear for days, then weeks as rumours emerged about donating bone marrow for his daughter.
Whittaker revealed the "burn out", which peaked during a Christmas Day training session in the notorious Wanda sandhills, was due largely to training seven days a week for years.
Yet now, four months on, the 29-year-old is back in training, having made significant changes to his life which include altering his fight team, giving Sundays back to his large family, and also overseeing all training programs and schedules himself.
Asked about the prospect of facing Till on Fight Island, Whittaker said: "I'm definitely keen for that.
"The whole island idea sounds great to me.
"Obviously I'll need to actually see the thing before I believe it because buying or hiring an island, it can't be easy.
"Same with setting up all the infrastructure required to meet the health and safety standards.
"But I'm definitely keen to be part of it."
And as for a re-match with Adesanya?
"Eventually I can see us fighting again," Whittaker continued.
"We're close to the same age and both right there in the mix.
"And he's a very good fighter.
"A guy who will be hard to beat at the top.
"But right now my whole focus is on winning my next fight. Then the one after that.
"For me, it's never been rocket science.
"Just as I've never had any detailed map that took me to the middleweight title first time around.
"I'll just keep winning fights and hopefully that sees us cross paths again."
Shortly before the world went into lockdown for COVID-19, Whittaker was firming to headline against Till on an August Fight Night card in Dublin, Ireland.
While the event was not officially signed off, it is understood the UFC are now keen to remake that bout for the same month, only with an island replacing Ireland.
Already, White has suggested his hyped Fight Island project will be operational by June.
While secrecy still surrounds the location, both Whittaker and fellow Australian Alex Volkanovski, the UFC featherweight champion, are keen to compete there as soon as the venue is operational.
Apart from having an Octagon located on the beach, the UFC president has revealed his island venue will also boasts hotels and training facilities, with private jets set to charter athletes to and from the events.
Originally published as Whittaker 'would love to be part' of UFC beach brawl