Robert Whittaker says that while it would be a dream come true to fight Georges St-Pierre, he rates his chances of emerging victorious against the MMA legend.
St-Pierre became just the fourth fighter to win a title in different divisions after he returned from a four-year hiatus to submit Michael Bisping on Saturday (4 November) at UFC 217 and become the middleweight champion.
His performance notably received plaudits, as despite a long lay-off and the fact that he was moving up a division and fighting with more weight and less speed, "GSP" was never troubled against a dangerous opponent.
Whittaker, who became the interim middleweight champion back in June, is expected to face St-Pierre next, and the Australian is fairly confident of what the result would be.
"To be honest, he [GSP] looked slower than he's ever been," Whittaker said, as quoted by news.com.au. "[But] he's just as crafty.
"You can see the intelligence is still there. His fight IQ is still there. He obviously hits harder at middleweight. But I hit hard, and I hit fast – and much harder and faster than Bisping. And I have a much better defence than Bisping. So it looks good."
"The Reaper", who is seen by many as the next St-Pierre – mainly due to his similar jabbing technique and his humble personality, also revealed he was a massive fan of the 36-year-old.
With the promotion announcing Perth as the location for UFC 221, Whittaker ideally wants to face the champion in his home country on 11 February, 2018 but is willing to wait, if need be.
"I can't even put it into words," Whittaker said. "I was a massive fan of him when I was younger – and when I was at welterweight as well. Every welterweight in the world aspired to become something like him. If I got the privilege of fighting him? Man, dream come true.
"I'm happy to wait. Fighting a legend like that is worth the time. My wants have to go on the backseat a bit for him. He's a living legend, and in respect, I'll do that. But if he's going to hang around at middleweight, we'll touch gloves eventually. I'm confident."