Middleweight contender Robert Whittaker has dismissed any talk of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) surrounding his UFC 213 opponent Yoel Romero.
The duo are set to meet on 8 July in an interim middleweight title fight with the winner guaranteed a shot at current champion Michael Bisping's belt.
For Whittaker, it is a huge step up as just over two months ago, he was only the number six ranked contender. However, his win over Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza at UFC Kansas catapulted him to number three in lieu of a title shot.
The Australian was an underdog against Souza and is likely to be the underdog yet again when he meets number one contender Romero.
But, Whittaker is very excited about taking on one of the best fighters in the world, even if there was no interim title on the line.
"Probably," Whittaker told Submission Radio when asked if he would face Romero without an interim title on the line. "Let's be honest, I like fighting tough dudes, and more than the interim belt I'm excited to fight Yoel Romero. He's been like number one contender since practically he got up there and I want to fight him."
"I see myself matching up pretty well. Before he gets to me to do his wrestling he's gotta get past my hands and feet, but he's a tough dude in saying that.
"He's [a] very tough dude, he's got a really tight skill-set, and like you said, he's been competing at the highest level for years. So it's gonna be a really tough fight."
While considered one of the best fighters in the world, Romero also has a "dirty" reputation, having failed a drug test in December 2015, and subsequently getting suspended for six months due to a tainted supplement.
That is one of the reasons why Bisping frequently calls the Cuban a cheat, and according to fans, has been dodging "The Soldier of God." For Whittaker, none of that matters. He claims Romero can do whatever he wants as the end result will remain the same.
"Nah, it's like, whatever," Whittaker added. "It is what it is. He can do whatever he wants. It's not gonna help him."