The first Australian UFC champion, Rob Whittaker, is one of the best middleweights on the planet, but what is not as well known is his obsession with video games.
Whittaker will hope to launch another title run when he clashes with Paulo Costa in the co-main event of UFC 298 this weekend.
The 33-year-old comes into the fight having surprisingly lost two of his last three UFC bouts, with his last loss being to division champion Dricus Du Plessis.
He has notable wins over ‘Jacare’ Souza, Jared Cannonier and Marvin Vettori, but some of his favorite wins have come while playing.
“Gaming has literally been a fundamental part of who I am since I was old enough to hold a controller,” he said. news center.
Australia’s Rob Whittaker says gaming is a fundamental part of who he is
Australian UFC star says gaming is a great way to relax from his grueling training
‘The first games console I remember playing would have to be the Sega Mega Drive. My dad was into that at the time and I remember playing Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Ghosts’n’Ghouls and all that.
‘It literally imprinted on me how I would live the rest of my life at that moment. I guess I loved fantasy, magic, dragons, combat and superpowers. I just haven’t looked back since.
While Whittaker looks in great shape for his upcoming fight with Costa, he says the games really help with his mental health.
‘Creating characters and embarking on these journeys is the easiest method of escape. “It’s like instant dopamine – I think playing for me is a really good meditation,” she said.
‘I go to the gym and I try hard. I’ll go out to fights and you know, fight week is stressful. There’s a diet, I’m hungry and I train, I’m exhausted 24/7. But I know I can come in here and sit down and work on a game and I can progress my character and just relax.
“There is nothing more than what is happening in the game at that moment.”
Whittaker promised last week that his game plan is to intimidate the bully when he meets Costa this weekend.
“He’s a tough, powerful guy, and a tough fighter,” Whittaker told Submission Radio.
Whittaker is even a character in one of his favorite games, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.
Whittaker will face former title contender Paulo Costa at UFC 298 this weekend
“If you give him the space and let him have his way, he’ll just intimidate you and he thrives in that type of situation.” But, man, I’ve fought plenty of bullies before.
“I’m going to fight him, I’m going to intimidate him, I’m looking to go in there and hurt him.” So no, I don’t think he’ll get away with it.
Meanwhile, Costa has not competed in 18 months, abandoning his last two planned fights with Ikram Aliskerov and Khamzat Chimaev.
‘Borrachinha’, who is coming off a win against Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 in 2022, is also no stranger to generating controversy online.
In 2022, she launched a shocking attack on the Brazil soccer team for being “feminists who apologize for being straight and white,” claiming they can’t win the World Cup.
“The Brazilian soccer team was respectable when they had drug dealers as match officials,” he tweeted, somewhat incoherently at the time.
“Transsexual fucking like Ronald in 2006 or 2002,” he added. ‘Now they are all feminists or apologize for being heterosexual (and) white. They can’t win the World Cup, sorry. Let the old times return.
He has a history of controversial tweets, and Costa had previously gotten into trouble for using a racial slur on social media in the direction of former UFC fighter Mike Perry.
Despite his recent inactivity, a win against Whittaker will put him back in the conversation for a middleweight title shot.