It’s a knockout: Whittaker’s multimillion-dollar payday
ROBERT Whittaker is eyeing off a Sunday payday worth $2.5 million thanks to his headlining an "Aussie invasion" at UFC 225 in Chicago.
Already Australia's first UFC champ, Whittaker is now looking to earn the biggest purse of his career while also defending his middleweight title for the first time against Cuban Yoel Romero.
The impending seven-figure deal represents a huge transformation for the kid from Sydney Housing Commission stock who, only a few years ago, was still working as a CityRail electrician.
Asked about now having the chance to make millions, Whittaker was clear.
"I fight to provide for my family," he said.
"So it makes me happy knowing that, through this fight on the weekend, I'm not only helping my family but changing the circumstances that I grew up with."
Currently on an undefeated run stretching four years and eight fights, the ferocious Mt Annan striker is one of three Aussies on a stacked UFC 225 main card - supported by both undefeated Sydney heavyweight Tai Tuivasa and Gold Coast puncher Megan Anderson.
The strong national presence has Team Whittaker confident of high pay-per-view sales Down Under, even though countryman Jeff Horn defends his WBO welterweight title on the same day in Las Vegas.
Whittaker also earns a percentage of all international PPV sales from a card also boasting an interim welterweight title fight between Rafael Dos Anjos and Colby Covington.
"So Rob could make $2.5 million from this fight, absolutely," manager Titus Day said. "And maybe even more than that.
"Without getting into contract specifics, Rob earns a percentage of all pay-per-view sales around the world.
"And this card, it's stacked. If it does the big numbers like people are expecting, Rob is in for a very significant payday."
Day also fired back at Horn's manager Dean Lonergan, who recently suggested "The Hornet" would double, even potentially triple, Whittaker when it came to the number of eyeballs on their respective fights.
"It's a shame he (Lonergan) has had to try and attack Rob like that," Day said. "I guess he's just trying to save face given he completely f...ed up in the first place and agreed to put his fighter on the same day as UFC 225.
"He's the one screwed it all up.
"And because of that he now wants to attack Rob? That's ridiculous. Both these guys are amazing fighters and great blokes out there doing their thing.
"I know that Rob wishes Jeff Horn well and is really hoping he wins."
Quizzed about headlining a card with three Aussies, Whittaker added: "I think it's really cool.
"I'm especially keen to watch Tai, we've spent a lot of time together and I can tell you he's built for this. He's the essence of a fighter. I'm definitely going to watch his fight from backstage."
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