Bellator 281: Robert Whiteford reveals no-contest frustration ahead of veteran battle with Daniel Weichel
After his last appearance in the Bellator cage left a bitter taste in his mouth, Robert Whiteford returns to Wembley looking to make a statement, and call for a rematch.
Scottish featherweight Robert Whiteford is still unhappy with the way his last Bellator appearance panned out and, once he has dealt with his bout this Friday at Bellator 281, he wants to run it back.
Whiteford appeared to be well on his way to victory against England's Andrew Fisher at Bellator 267 in London last year, only for a series of eye pokes to eventually lead to the bout's termination. The final poke was ruled to be accidental, with the bout ruled a no contest.
That verdict left a sour taste with the Scot, who is determined to get a rematch with Fisher booked as quickly as possible so he can right the wrongs of that first meeting.
Speaking to the media ahead of Bellator 281 in London, Whiteford explained why he is still quietly seething about the outcome of his last bout.
"The referee said it was an accidental eye poke," he told reporters at a media day session ahead of Bellator 281 in London.
"Once, you let them off – accidental. Second one, surely take a point. Third one, maybe then have a serious word, whether it's a disqualification, or take another point.
"Six times he poked me in the eye - three times the action had to be stopped for that. But, all in all, when you watch the fight back, it was six times. The only person who gained from it was Fisher, because he was losing the fight."
Whiteford was poised to claim the victory, but the fact that he was ruled unable to continue meant he was deprived not only of his win, but also of his win bonus, which added insult to Whiteford's injury.
"Anybody that knows the fight game knows you get your show money and you get your win money," he explained.
"So if it goes down as a no contest, it means I'll only get my show money, which is terrible. Then for them to come back maybe six or seven weeks later, after lawyers get involved, and say there's nothing they can do about it seems like it was just brushed under the carpet to let it go quiet. So I'm a bit pissed off that I only get half a paycheque."
Whiteford's next test sees him face off against former title challenger and longtime Bellator veteran Daniel Weichel. Whiteford said that the bout will pit two of the most seasoned, experienced top-level featherweights in a bout that should entertain the London crowd.
"When you look at the opponents I've faced in my last 10 fights and you look at the opponents he's fought over, what it it, 60 fights, or 55 fights, or whatever, I don't think you get much more experience in fighting at the top level and top level guys," he said.
"Obviously, it's more familiar to him. He's had 55 fights – I think it's a difference from my 20 or 21. But, as far as experience goes, I don't think there's much more that I can see, especially from an older veteran like himself. It's not like he's an up and coming flashy youngster. He's still fighting the same way.
"I don't think experience comes down to it. It's just who's going to be better on the night."
Photos: Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA