Aussie UFC star Robert Whittaker has taken a subtle dig at returning champion Georges St-Pierre, after his incredible return to the Octagon at UFC 217.
The athletic middleweight, who became the division's interim champion earlier this year, was ringside to witness the Canadian champion's choke-out victory over George Bisping at Madison Square Garden, and now has his sights set on his own high-profile showdown with GSP.
Currently out nursing a knee injury, sustained during his last fight victory over Yoel Romero, Whittaker assessed some potential weaknesses in St-Pierre's game during the aftermath of UFC 217.
"To be honest, he looked slower than he’s ever been," Whittaker said.
"He’s just as crafty. You can see the intelligence is still there. His fight IQ is still there.
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"He obviously hits harder at middleweight. But I hit hard and I hit fast — and much harder and faster than Bisping. And I have much better defence than Bisping. So it looks good."
And so far, things are looking good for 26-year-old Whittaker, with Dana White confident that GSP's next fight should be the Aussie former bricklayer.
"It’s going to be Whittaker," White said at the UFC 217 press conference.
If that plan was to come to fruition, it would be the realisation of a dream for Whittaker, who's idolised the Canadian star from a young age.
"I can’t even put it into words," Whittaker said.
"I was a massive fan of him when I was younger — and when I was at welterweight as well.
"Every welterweight in the world aspired to become something like him. If I got the privilege of fighting him? Man, dream come true."
Whittaker's respect for GSP was evident post-fight, as he embraced the middleweight champion in the tunnel after his victory.
Watch that in the video at the top of the page.
But Whittaker knows he may need to wait to fight the UFC legend.
"I’m happy to wait," he said.
"Fighting a legend like that is worth the time. My wants have to go on the back seat a bit for him.
"He’s a living legend and in respect I’ll do that. But if he’s going to hang around at middleweight we’ll touch gloves eventually. I’m confident."
However if GSP's comments are anything to go by, the pair may never get to touch gloves in the Octagon.
"This (185 pounds) is not my real weight," he said.
"I did it for the challenge and there was a time in my career I was too busy - the challengers were one after the other and I was too small to go up.
"I was even small for a welterweight. I'm still welterweight size but I decided to take a shot because I put on some muscle mass.
"There is a point that it's too much but now I'm at a point that it's okay."