Robert Whittaker ready to battle in Ultimate Fighter ring
YOUNG Sydney fighter Robert Whittaker is out to prove he has what it takes to join the elite Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC.
The 21-year-old is the Australian welterweight finalist of The Smashes, Australia's first Ultimate Fighter TV series which pits Aussie mixed martial artists against British ones.
Whittaker is on the card for Saturday's live UFC event on the Gold Coast, where the show's lightweight finalists, Norman Parke and Colin Fletcher, will also compete.
He describes his final week of preparations as "mental training".
"It's the week you've got to get your head where the fight is," he told The Guide.
"I believe that all 13 weeks prior to the fight are important, but nothing is more important than that last mental week."
The only thing standing between Whittaker and a UFC contract is British welterweight finalist Bradley Scott.
"Personality-wise, he's all right," he said. "In terms of the fight itself, I don't worry myself on my opponent's skills. I go out to destroy all angles, all strengths and weaknesses."
A third-year apprentice electrician, Whittaker is known for his unorthodox boxing style.
"The show definitely opened up my eyes to a lot of things.
"Regardless of the outcome of (Saturday) night, this has been a doorway to making my hobby my passion and my career. It's the exact path I needed."