Robert Whittaker hopes Jiri Prochazka steers clear of UFC middleweight move because ‘then we’re enemies’

Robert Whittaker won’t be thrilled if Jiri Prochazka makes an eventual move down to the UFC middleweight division.

Former light heavyweight champion Prochazka (30-4-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) recently revealed one of the long-term career goals is to drop to 185 pounds. He first intends to recapture the belt at his current weight class, but is confident he could fight in the division 20 pounds lower.

Current middleweight titleholder Dricus Du Plessis encouraged Prochazka to come down, revealing the Czech athlete actually walks around at a lower weight than him outside of camp.

Former champ and current contender Whittaker (25-7 MMA, 16-5 UFC), however, isn’t as enthusiastic about the idea of Prochazka joining the division.

“I hope he doesn’t,” Whittaker said on the MMArcade Podcast. “I really hope he doesn’t (move to middleweight). I like the guy a lot, but if he enters the middleweight division, then we’re enemies. That’s just the nature of the game. They’re all enemies, except for my teammates.”

Whittaker said he doesn’t doubt Prochazka’s ability to cut the weight. However, he’s not as confident in the idea Prochazka would have the same effectiveness as a fighter.

“I can’t see him at (middleweight),” Whittaker said. “I’ve seen him in real life. I’ve been up close with him, and he’s big, dude. It’s not just his physical size. He’s got a big frame. Wide shoulders. He’s really tall. He’s 6-foot-4. But he’s a big, big guy. I think he has the mentalities to get (down in weight). Don’t get me wrong.

“If he wants to get to middleweight, he’ll do it. Whether or not it would be a good move, it’s hard to say. He’s smashing it at light heavy, and he’s said he’s still got goals there. Stay at light heavyweight so we can stay friends.”

Whittaker, No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie middleweight rankings, is set to return to the octagon against No. 8-ranked Khamzat Chimaev in the main event of UFC on ABC 6 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on June 22.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ABC 6.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie