Andrew Whitney got past the first round of Titan FC’s bantamweight tournament, which will decide the division’s next champion, with relative ease. He knocked out former title challenger Anderson Dos Santos in the second round at Titan FC 40 earlier this month.
Whitney is confident heading into his bout against Farkhad Sharipov, which will serve as the tournament finals. The Titan FC bantamweight championship is only an arm’s reach way for the 32-year-old.
While still one fight away from having the Titan FC belt wrapped around his waist, he, in fact, already views himself as the titleholder. That’s how confident he is.
“I’m actually the most winningest bantamweight in the history of Titan,” Whitney told BloodyElbow.com’s The MMA Circus. “I have the most knockouts in the history of Titan. Ricky Simon, Anderson Dos Santos — all those guys are chasing me right now. Even though I don’t have the belt, I am the current champ. I’m the underground king of that organization. I am the titleholder. So these guys are coming to see me. All these guys that have fought one or two fights in Titan, and they get a shot at the king? I don’t think so. Titan does what they want to do, but I do what I want to do, too. I’m actually the underground king right now of the division.”
Whitney, who’s currently riding a four-fight winning streak, views his upcoming bout as one step closer to the UFC. It’s just a stepping stone for him. He believes a UFC call is already long overdue and is quite surprised the UFC matchmakers haven’t come calling.
“I should be a UFC fighter now,” he said. “Let me tell you something about my record. I don’t fight these chumps. I’m fighting top prospects from the UK, top prospects from Brazil. I see these guys getting in the UFC beating guys 4-3, 3-7, these chumps. I’m more worthy to fight any guy in the UFC than a lot of these guys. I don’t know why I haven’t gotten my phone call yet — I know it’s a political game.
“I hope [my next fight] seals the deal. I thought beating Dos Santos was gonna seal the deal. And we’ll see. It might’ve sealed the deal. I might get called for a late replacement. But if I don’t, I’ll go in and take Sharipov’s head off, and I hope that seals the deal.”
Whitney believes he can be a Conor McGregor-esque superstar. If and when he is signed to the UFC, he sees the entire state of Missouri backing him. He has a few certain conditions when it comes to his signing and contract — just like the UFC featherweight champion.
“I want my manager to get me in the office with Dana White,” he said. “Let’s sit down and let’s do a Conor [meeting]. I can be that type of superstar. I’m bringing a whole state to him. After this win, sit me down, let me sign this contract with Dana White, and let him see the star power that I have.”
Whitney is tired of seeing what he believes are low-level fighters being signed to the UFC and earning more money than him, while he fights some of the best fighters outside of the UFC.
“I’m fighting UFC-caliber fighters for $3,000 a fight,” he said. “Come on, now. Half these guys getting in the UFC making more than money than me are tomato cans. I’m sick of this sh-t. Out of my 14 wins, I got six or seven knockouts. I could be a millionaire right now. I got a flying knee knockout; I got all kinds of crazy knockouts and I ain’t getting paid.”
Whitney was in talks with the UFC several years ago and was given an explanation as to why he hadn’t been signed by the UFC yet. He understood it then but believes it’s no longer valid.
“When I was 8-1, or somewhere around there, I lost to Cody Gibson, who ended up going to the UFC,” he said. “Sean Shelby has said he likes my style, but he was disappointed I lost to a wrestler. So I worked my wrestling, I came back, and I’ve dominated the last three or four fights with wrestling. And I still haven’t been signed yet, on a four-fight win streak. I’ve taken out two big prospects from two different continents in less than six months. So I’m not sure. It is a politics game.”
Whitney claims he offered to fill in for John Lineker, who pulled out of UFC Fight Night 83 with an injury, against top contender Cody Garbrandt this past February. His debut never came to fruition for whatever reason and the UFC signed Augusto Mendes instead.
“I asked for the Cody Garbrandt fight a couple months ago,” he said. “They didn’t pick me up; they just said keep winning against quality opponents. Then they picked out some guy from Arizona. He was 5-0, and he beat a bunch of 3-7 type guys. So I don’t understand [why I haven’t been signed]. But my job is to stay ready for Sharipov, go in there, get an impressive win, and hopefully that seals the deal.”
Whitney is booked to fight next month but has his fingers crossed he receives a call from the UFC before then.
“To tell you the truth, I’m hoping I get that UFC phone call before Sept. 9,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. I don’t know. I always hope for the best but expect the worst. If I don’t get it, I’ll take this guy’s head off; I’ll become a world champion in a different organization, and then go for that UFC belt.”
At the end of the day, Whitney is thankful to fight for Titan FC, but “wants his shot” at fighting in the big leagues sooner rather than later.
“I know the landscape of this sport and part of me gets angry because I know I belong,”he said, ”but the other part of me is grateful for the opporuntities Titan has given me because it allows me to prove my worth.”
Whitney was the underdog against Dos Santos and expects to be the underdog in the majority of his future Octagon appearances. He doesn’t mind and plans to do the same thing he did to Dos Santos to his future UFC opponents.
“When I get in the UFC, a lot of these boys in the UFC know who I am, but a lot of these people don’t know who I am, outside of the UFC,” he said. “So they are gonna put me as the underdog a lot, and I’ll be taking these guys’ heads off in the UFC, too. Just watch. Mark my words.”
Whitney isn’t a UFC fighter yet but already has his sights set on the UFC bantamweight champion.
“I think I matchup against well with Dominick Cruz, how about that?”
Despite his comments on possibly being signed to the UFC and “The Dominator,” Whitney says he is not looking past his next opponent and task at hand.
“Here’s the thing with me. I shoot shots out there because I deserve it. I’ve earned the right to shoot shots out there. I’ve earned the right to be in the UFC,” he said. “But in no way, shape or form — do not get it twisted — I do not overlook Sharipov. I’m taking this guy very serious; I respect him for getting in the cage against me. I respect every aspect of his game. I just feel like I’m the better fighter, and I’ll prove it come Sept. 9.
“But no, no, no. I’m taking this guy very serious. I mean, he’s dangerous. He’s been around for a lot longer than I have. So he’s dangerous in a lot of aspects. I’ll make sure I’m ready for every aspect that he has to throw at my face.”
The bantamweight title will be up for grabs in Whitney’s upcoming bout against Sharipov, but the bout is not scheduled to headline Titan FC 41. Whitney doesn’t look at the bout order as a huge deal but is slightly upset he is not the main event, considering his accomplishments in the organization.
“You can say I’m disappointed,” he said. “I have more fights than anybody that’s signed with Titan. Not only the bantamweight division — I have more wins than anybody in Titan history in every weight class. And you put Carina Damm as the main event, ahead of me? Let’s get real. It’s a politics game. People like watching women fighting, I guess, now.”
When asked how he will defeat Sharipov for the Titan FC bantamweight title in the co-main event of Titan FC 41 next month, this was Whitney’s response:
“You know — I take his motherf-cking head clean off.”
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