UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker can't see veteran challenger Yoel Romero doing anything drastically different as he prepares for a "pain in the arse" title defence against his most recent opponent in Chicago.
The Sydneysider fights the 41-year-old Cuban - a 2000 Sydney Olympic wrestling silver medallist - on June 10 (Australian time), 11 months after winning a points decision in their interim title fight in Las Vegas.
Whittaker, 27, hasn't fought since due to injury and illness.
Nonetheless, he was upgraded to full champion after the defeat of Michael Bisping, by Georges St Pierre, who subsequently vacated the title.
The 27-year New Zealand-born champion doesn't believe Romero can throw anything new at him in their rematch.
"I don't think there's anything that he can do that can give him more of an advantage than he had last time," Whittaker said on Friday.
"I don't think he can change so drastically at his age and in the little amount of time before the fight.
"I just don't see it, if he does then I'm sure I'll adapt, that's kind of what I do.
"But I'll tell you what, I've got a bag of new tricks that I'm looking forward to bringing out and throwing at him."
Romero was adamant he would have something different to throw at Whittaker, but wouldn't divulge details.
"You need to pay for pay-per-view and you'll see where I make the difference in this fight for the threats I will have for Whittaker," Romero said.
Whittaker said No.1 contender Romero deserved the title shot after beating Luke Rockhold in Perth last February, but wasn't enamoured at having to fight the Cuban again.
"It's a pain in the arse to be honest," Whittaker said.
"It was a very hard and tiring fight and to have to back that up with the same fight again, it's certainly a pain."
Romero was only successful with four of 18 takedown attempts against Whittaker in Las Vegas.
"He fights going backwards and that's what makes it difficult for me," Romero said.
Whittaker acknowledged that, saying "it's surprisingly hard to take someone down who is backing up as well as throwing punches and kicks."
Romero missed the weight limit against Rockhold but insisted that wouldn't be an issue in Chicago.