Morning Report: Robert Whittaker still cordial with Darren Till but declares, ‘I have no friends in the middleweight division’

Morning Report: Robert Whittaker still cordial with Darren Till but declares, ‘I have no friends in the middleweight division’

It sounds like the fun may be over between Robert Whittaker and Darren Till.

Next month, Whittaker and Till face each other in the main event of the UFC’s final event on ‘Fight Island.’ Aside from being a pivotal middleweight clash that could determine the next title challenger, the bout is also notable for the pre-fight build up. During the early days of the coronavirus lockdown, Whittaker and Till engaged in a non-traditional “war of words” swapping memes over social media and generally having a laugh with one another about the possibility of fighting. Then the UFC came calling to make that a reality, and with the bout only a month away, the frivolity seems to be winding down.

Speaking with Submission Radio over the weekend, the former middleweight champion says that though he still has no ill will towards Till, with Fight Week in sight, things are getting a bit more serious.

“Honestly, it’s the same as it’s always been,” Whittaker said. “It’s cool how it’s a different approach, but I’m not really thinking about whether Darren’s a cool guy or not. Before the fight was lined up, it was cool to just josh back and forth, have a bit of a laugh at it, and try to make some interest for the fight, but once we kinda knew we were fighting, I don’t really care what sort of person he is. It’s one of those things where all I’m focusing on now is crushing him.

“For one, let me just say, I have no friends in the middleweight division. (Laughs). I can’t be friends with anybody I could be fighting, so let’s just clear that up. And two, mate, we’re in the fight game. It’s cool to be lined up with a guy that isn’t acting like a Gronk, but at the end of the day, he’s coming to take what’s mine and I’m coming to take what’s his. That’s the game we’re in. That’s the fight game, that’s the fight world.”

Till, meanwhile, has seemingly been less concerned with Whittaker and instead has been spending his internet time going in on Mike Perry and having a wonderful time face-swapping himself on Photoshop. Till even recently said that he hopes he faces “the worst” Robert Whittaker. But Bobby Knuckles isn’t buying all of that. He thinks Till is coming just as hard as he is.

“The thing is, we’re just cool,” Whittaker said. “We’re cool. He’s doing his thing, I’m doing mine. We have a bit of fun but we’re both respectful. Don’t get us wrong though, the weeks are getting closer and our sights are set on each other’s faces. It’s war time. I’m ready for the fight of my life and I’m gonna bring the fight of his life.”

If Whittaker does bring the fight of his life and gets his hand raised, that would then put the former middleweight champion right back in the title mix. But that’s something Whittaker says he isn’t even thinking about right now. There’s time for that later.

“I haven’t even thought about it,” Whittaker said. “Honestly, I haven’t even thought about it. I’m just enjoying the ride. Like I said, I’m just a ranker now. I’m in there, I’m looking to fight Darren Till, beat him, and worry about the next step after.”

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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Respect.

Congratulations @DustinPoirier great fight

— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) June 28, 2020

Thank you champ https://t.co/koWNXmRqtG

— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) June 28, 2020

Let the man rest.

Damn!! Let me rest bruh!!! https://t.co/RgP5aOV0Co

— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) June 28, 2020

Poirier-Felder would also be good.

I would come out of retirement for either one of these guys

— Paul Felder (@felderpaul) June 28, 2020

Ronda Rousey.

Congratulations looking forward to seeing more from you! Nice armbar https://t.co/or5nwIgNgr

— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) June 27, 2020

Making friends.

https://t.co/l7wor0c5pZ pic.twitter.com/1FG7KX08sC

— Kay Hansen (@KayHansenMMA) June 28, 2020

Fighters discussing taxes.

Fighters ..adding to @Benaskren
1) Set up an LLC before getting you’re first paycheck( this will allow you to write off most expenses )
2) Create a solid safety fund preferably 6 months
3) having 100k in you’re account doesn’t make you rich Do Not Ball out!
4) Save and invest

— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) June 28, 2020

$100k fight. 10% Manager fee, 15% Coaches, 5-10% Training Camp costs, 20% Taxes even with write offs (could be higher), 5-10% retirement, 5-10% investments, and setting aside money for another source of steady income and a safety fund. Then just living expenses. 100k goes fast. https://t.co/XJyKjzRx4I

— Gray Maynard (@GrayMaynard) June 28, 2020

Lol after one of the fights I lost, I ended up with 15% of my purse after paying out everything especially Cos it was an international fight so paying flights for extra corners ruined me

— Jessy Jess (@missjessyjess) June 29, 2020

Exactly! Most people have now idea we have to pay for most of our corners expenses. We have 3 corners, but only get 2 flights which includes our flight. And 1 hotel room which is suppose to accommodate 4 people while your preparing for a big fight. https://t.co/69kPn2nBtG

— Gray Maynard (@GrayMaynard) June 29, 2020

Dear Fighters, Uncle Sam will take 30-50% of your money dependent on state taxes and income bracket. No one will tell you this. Plan accordingly.

— Lumberjack Ben (@Benaskren) June 28, 2020

Its always so traumatic when you sit with your fighter after the first time they get a decent pay day…and they learn about taxes for the first time. Like that kid crying playing the monopoly game https://t.co/7y1lfr1X4n

— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) June 28, 2020

The New York Bad Ass is half right.

I’d KO him now he’s a very poor man’s version of me https://t.co/qHNRfhoGOn

— phil baroni (@philbaroni) June 28, 2020

The most important question of our time.

VOTE: Better quarantine hair?@ALIAQUINTA or @BlessedMMA pic.twitter.com/lM3wynpOnF

— The Athletic MMA (@TheAthleticMMA) June 28, 2020

I’mma buy a house from Al. And he’s gonna buy a haircut from me

— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) June 28, 2020

I have my eye on this property we can buy with returns of 15-20% on your money… but the hair stays

— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) June 29, 2020

My man the deal is house for haircut. You switching the terms on me. ‍♂️ I’mma have to unionize before I deal with you

— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) June 29, 2020

Usman is a pretty good training partner to get ready for Khabib.

View this post on Instagram

Iron sharpens iron. How much would you pay to watch this for a few rounds? @usman84kg is looking like a straight killer. Glad to have him in the room. Just two dudes having fun @onxlabs

A post shared by Justin Gaethje (@justin_gaethje) on Jun 27, 2020 at 6:45pm PDT

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.

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