#RobertWhittaker is a man of few words, but last night his fighting did all of the talking.
Speaking to UFC.com afterward, Whittaker said that the night couldn't have gone any better for him.
"It was probably a little better [than I'd hoped for]," Whittaker said. "Jacare is a legend of the sport. It was an honour to fight him, and I have absolute respect for him. I had a gameplan and I expected a war, and he brought me a war."
In the first round, the Brazilian managed to drag Whittaker down to the mat and looked to implement his infamous ground game. Whittaker, however, had other ideas. And after only a matter of seconds of being on his back, he made his way back to feet. The Australian admitted he owed a lot to his coaches who had been drilling both his takedown defence and jiu-jitsu hard before the fight.
"I worked my jiu-jitsu with my jiu-jitsu coaches, Alex Pirates and Hugo Nunes, those two guys helped me so much drilling my ground game," Whittaker said. They tied me up on the daily so, bad positions, I'm pretty comfortable there at this point. But, yeah, I've got good wrestling defense, good jiu-jitsu--I'm not saying I have anything near him [Jacare], but I do have good jiu-jitsu and I do hit hard. Every fight starts standing, right?"
The Australian then said that the key to the fight was both his patience and his ability to stay cool in the pivotal moments.
"Patience is the key--especially with a fighter like him," Whittaker said. "If you make a mistake he will capitalize on it with so much experience and with such a strong gameplan. I couldn't afford to make mistakes so I stayed patient. All my coaches have drilled into me what the gameplan was. I just had to stay patient, and I did that."
Whittaker refused to be drawn on who or what he wanted next, but regardless, after last night's performance, he's a man who's put the whole middleweight division on notice.