Robert Whiteford talks training, fighting Darren Elkins and what’s next after UFC (Dublin) Fight Night 76

So Robert, since your TKO first round win at UFC Glasgow against Paul Redmond, what have you been up to?

I was actually back in the gym the Monday after UFC Glasgow with my boxing coach, Colin McNeil. Its not a chore for me, I love it, and I can never sit still even after a fight. I had a week holiday with my Fiance, and then I was back at it, planning and scheduling. I thought in my mind that I wanted to fight on the Dublin card, but of course I had just fought, so didn’t have the Elkins fight confirmed at this point, but at the same time, I knew I would be fighting, so I booked up to go back out to the US.

 

Have you had to step training up for your upcoming fight with Darren Elkins or has it been about maintaining your intensity from your last fight?

Of course when there is an opponent confirmed, everyone thinks that the intensity steps up, but to be honest, my intensity is high all the time. I decided to go back out to the US, American Top Team, way before the fight was confirmed- it is a conscious decision for me to surround myself with like minded people who push me. Don’t get me wrong, when I am in Scotland I love it, I have my friends, my Fiance, and my training partners and coaches at the Griphouse in Glasgow all push me every session, but unfortunately, to be at the top, which is where I want to go, I need to be in a room with people who are pushing me down every session. When I first walked into the Griphouse, I was fresh, ye I had done Judo and some MMA before, but I was new to it, and I soon found out as the guys put it on me. As you progress, learn and develop, the intensity increases with every session, but now I am at a level where ever single second of every session is learning, it is hard to describe, but I am so focussed in on the session, it’s the entire focus of the round.

 

Does Darren Elkins bring anything to the table, or will this be another first round TKO for The Hammer?

Darren has been in the UFC since 2010, and has some impressive wins under his belt – so of course he brings skills to the cage, no-one in the UFC is there by chance, it’s the best guys in the world. Darren is currently ranked #14 by the UFC in the featherweight division, this is his 13th fight in the organisation, so he’s no slouch. I treat every opponent with respect, and I won’t under estimate Darren, but I also wont blink an eye, I’m here to make waves in this division, and Darren is standing in my way. Don’t blink.

 

You’ve just signed a new 4 fight deal with The UFC. Congratulations! Where do you see yourself in your 4th fight – challenging for the belt?

I have never really had any specific fights in mind, apart from moving up the rankings – of course everyone wants to compete to win, well they should anyway. I am confident in my own abilities, and lets see where things go after this fight. I’m focussed on the Elkins fight in front of me, but I’l say it again, I am not here to make up the numbers, I fight to win.