WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST 12/7: Dana White says he has big fight plans for Roger Whitaker, who is on short list? (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Mike Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Gegard Mousasi (photo credit Per Haljestam © USA Today Sports)

DANA WHITE HAS PLANS FOR ROGER WHITTAKER

Robert Whittaker is set to see a step up in competition and profile for his next fight. Dana White told Fox Sports that he expects Whittaker’s next fight to happen stateside and against a top five opponent.

“I’m a really big fan,” he said. “Actually, the next move is, his next fight will be in Vegas. I’ll bring him out to Vegas and he’ll fight one it the guys in the top five.”

Going under the assumption that Yoel Romero will fight Michael Bisping for the Middleweight Championship, that leaves Luke Rockhold, Jacare Souza, Chris Weidman, and Gegard Mousasi as potential opponents for Whittaker coming up.

A win over any of these four fighters would have to make Whittaker a serious championship contender. UFC’s next big show in Vegas, assuming Whittaker wouldn’t be ready to fight on Dec. 30, would be UFC 209 on March 4, 2017.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: I like the Mousasi fight for Whittaker, but I’m wondering if Dana White has other plans. Luke Rockhold is eyeing a March return so the timing of the March pay-per-view in Vegas makes sense. There are a variety of ways for UFC to go with a variety of intriguing matchups up and down the top 10. Middleweight is really one if UFC’s most interesting divisions right now.

WEDNESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…

-The Jessica Andrade vs. Maryna Moroz fight we reported yesterday for UFC 207 is apparently not happening as Moroz has had to pull out according to Tweets from Guilherme Cruz. Andrade still plans to fight on the Dec. 30 card.

-Juliana Pena vs. Valentina Shevchenko will headline the Jan. 28 Fox card from Denver.

Saturday’s Ultimate Fighter Finale headlined by Demetrious Johnson vs. Tim Elliott in a Flyweight Title fight averaged 1,032,000 viewers and peaked for the main event which ran past 1 a.m. on the East Coast.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: TUESDAY NEWS DIGEST 12/6: Cris Cyborg frustrates Dana White after turning down two title matches (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)


(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)

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