Robert Whiteford out to prove he deserves better billing at UFC Dublin

robwhitefordinterview

Robert Whiteford takes on Darren Elkins on Saturday night at UFC Dublin. The Scottish knockout artist is coming off a memorable win over Ireland’s Paul Redmond in front of his hometown crowd in Glasgow. Whiteford drew some of the biggest cheers of the night for his entrance at the SSE Hydro back in July as walked out to the country’s unofficial national anthem, ‘The Flower of Scotland.’

Although he cherishes the “priceless” memories from UFC’s first trip to Scotland, he maintained that it was “a bit of a bummer” to be so far down the card.

“It’s hard thing to describe when people ask you about it,” he said. “Right now, just when you mentioned it, it gave me goosebumps. I’ve fought in Scotland before and the receptions I used to get were tremendous, but that was 11,000 times better.

“I wasn’t too happy about being so low down the card that night. I was the first Scottish guy to sign for the UFC, I was the first Scottish guy to register a win with them and I felt like I had put Scotland on the map in terms of UFC. To be that low down was definitely a bit of a bummer.

“The fact that I was the first Scot out on the night was important to me though. I came out to ‘Flower of Scotland’, and that memory is priceless to me. It’s something that I’ll never forget, I’ll remember that moment for the rest of my life.”

Despite the fact that he will meet Darren Elkins on Saturday night, one of the highest ranked fighters on the entire card, Whiteford still finds himself on the undercard in Dublin.

“Again, I’m the second fight of the night in Dublin, so I don’t think the UFC brass are getting the message. I’m second, and although I don’t really give a fuck about what number fight I am, I understand that these kinds of things are important in terms of sponsorship and how your career is being projected.

“That kind of thing can mess people up, but not me. Believe me, they’re going to shoot themselves in the foot again in Dublin on October 24 when I take this ranked guy out in epic fashion. I honestly think they’ve shot themselves in the foot and the cards will be in my hands after that,” explained the Scot.

Whiteford highlighted why he thinks former opponent Paul Redmond has had a hard run under the UFC banner. ‘The Hammer’ believes that the Team Ryano man may still be better suited to the lightweight ranks and that he should have got a chance to perform in front of his hometown crowd after two tough opening tests with the promotion.

“Redmond was in the same spot that I was in when I made my debut. He took a fight on short notice against Mirsad Bektic, another teammate of mine. He’s a huge prospect in the featherweight division, they think he’s going to be a future champion. He took it on short notice and I don’t think you can take anything away from his performance.

“He went three rounds with one of the most promising featherweights in the world, Mirsad stopped a guy in Brazil in his last fight. Even though it was on short notice and it came up as a loss, I don’t take anything away from him based on that performance. Then in his second fight with me it was against a hometown favourite, he had 11,000 supporters there who were against him and he was fighting someone with a chip on his shoulder.

“In fairness, he came out swinging. He was doing really well on his feet and we had some good exchanges. I get the feeling that Redmond had to take the opportunity with UFC at a lighter weight class. He’s a very big guy to drop to 145 lbs and he was up against a Scottish ‘Braveheart’ that day. He walked on to the left hand, and again, I wouldn’t take anything away from him for that. There aren’t many people that could come in there with that atmosphere and survive that. I really felt Redmond should have been of this Dublin card.”

Finally, Whiteford expressed why he believes the Irish fans will no hold a grudge against him for this knockout win over hometown man Redmond when he walks out in Dublin next Saturday.

“I’m not anticipating a frosty reception at all. I always think that the Irish are the same as the Scottish. We fought on the same battlefield against the same enemy. We bled together, and I’m looking for the Irish to bleed with me again on October 24.”

@PetesyCarroll

Ireland's leading MMA media outlet. Home of Severe MMA Podcast. Producers of 'Notorious,' 'The Fighting Irish' & other MMA docus