Earlier this month, UFC President Dana White claimed that UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was not a fan of the PR side of this sport.
“We’re still talking about Rob becoming mainstream in his own country,” White said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. “But from what I hear from my people here, Rob doesn’t love doing PR. But while you may not always remember what he says, you never forget the way he fights.
“And personally, I love his style. He says, you’re not going to take me down … and I’m going to knock you out,” White continued. “If you look at fighters from the past, they’re the most popular guys. Obviously you have those fighters with the incredible talent — like an Anderson Silva — guys that just have a style of beautiful violence, but people also love those guys who stuff the takedowns and knock people out, like Chuck Liddell.”
While it seems that Dana White was attempting to compliment Robert Whittaker for his fighting style, the champ still wants to assure that he has no issue working with the media.
“I think that media comment was miscommunication,” Whittaker told Submission Radio. “Someone told Dana White that I don’t do PR or I’m not easy to work with and that’s bullshit. I’ve done every PR and every media event they’ve put up to me. The big thing is, though, they get the shits when I say, ‘Sorry, I can’t make it, I have training at this time.’ What do you want me to do? Do you want me to fight or do you want me to do this? Work around me a little bit. It was just a miscommunication and that’s all.”
“I do all sorts of media stuff,” he added. “I’ve never said no or turned down a media event unless it clashes hard with a session I cannot miss. So, it’s part of the job. I think it’s just gotta be a healthy balance.”
That being said — Robert Whittaker does ask that any media obligations be carefully arranged so that they don’t interfere with his training.
“There’s a fine line,” he said. “I don’t know anything about running the company of UFC. That’s not my specialty. All I do know is that I need to train in order to win fights. UFC want me to win fights. So if you want me to do PR, let’s work together, let’s work around it. Try to fit in around my times, please.”
Robert Whittaker is set to return to the cage at UFC 234 on February 10 in Melbourne, Australia, where he’ll attempt to defend his title against Kelvin Gastelum.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/30/2018.