Rising Australian star Rob Whittaker believes his seventh consecutive UFC victory has earned him a shot at the middleweight title after taking down veteran Ronaldo Souza.
Whittaker has set his sights on champion Michael Bisping after sending a jolt through the middleweight division by stopping third-ranked Souza with a second-round onslaught in Kansas City.
The 26-year-old said Briton Bisping owes him a fight after pulling out of a bout in November 2015.
"Right now, he's doing his own thing and that's cool. But he owes me," Whittaker told News Corp Australia.
"I want a shot at that middleweight title and I think I deserve it.
"This win, it's a real eye-opener for not only the middleweight division but maybe a few other people on the MMA scene as well.
"I like being the underdog. I enjoy it. But I knew eventually people would realise I'm legitimate."
On the undercard to a flyweight world title bout won by Demetrious Johnson over Wilson Reis, underdog Whittaker stunned Souza with a right hand 30 seconds into the second round on Saturday (Sunday AEST).
A right high kick moments later before a barrage of punches with about 90 seconds left forced the stoppage, improving Whittaker to a 19-4 record.
The near-flawless technical knockout earned him a $50,000 bonus for the performance of the night award.
World No.6 contender Whittaker may have to wait to face Bisping, who is slated to fight three-time former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at an unknown date.
Second-ranked Yoel Romero looms as a likely interim option, while former champion Luke Rockhold, impressed with Whittaker's win over Souza, is reportedly keen to fight.
"That's a discussion I'll have with my corners and stuff, but I'm on my title run," Whittaker said at the post-match press conference.
"I'm on my run and I want that belt. Bisping owes me a fight, but if he's tied up, or if he loses it, or whatever, I want that belt.
"Wherever it goes, I want it."