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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Robert Whittaker: I’d beat new UFC champ Dricus Du Plessis 9 times out of 10

Robert Whittaker is confident he will beat Dricus Du Plessis if they fight again.

Former champion Whittaker (24-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) was upset by Du Plessis (21-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) this past July at UFC 290 when he was stopped by second-round TKO. Du Plessis then went beat Sean Strickland to claim the middleweight title in January at UFC 297.

As Whittaker prepares for his upcoming fight vs. Paulo Costa (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in the UFC 298 co-main event Feb. 17, “The Reaper” hopes to eventually work his way back to a rematch with Du Plessis.

“Dricus is a hungry guy, man,” Whittaker said during the UFC 298 pre-fight press conference in Sydney (h/t MacLife). “You saw in his last fight, and I think I underestimated that hunger. I still believe I beat him nine times out of 10.

“I still believe I’m a better fighter than he is, that I have a better skill set than he does. But mate: big strong guy that’s hungry and willing to leave it all there? You need to match that. I feel like I didn’t do that in that last fight.”

If Whittaker is afforded the opportunity to rematch Du Plessis, he thinks it’s more of a mental adjustment that he has to make.

“He’s definitely on a list that I want to run it back with,” Whittaker said. “I just didn’t turn up last time. Like I said, nine times out of 10 I beat him, and I think next time we cross paths, it’s going to be one of those nine times.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 298.

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