Robert “The Hammer” Whiteford (12-4 MMA) is set to headline ACB’s debut show in Scotland, taking on Frenchman Kevin Petshi (9-2 MMA) in a 140lbs Catch weight bout.
The fight is Whiteford’s first bout since being released from the UFC after a 2-3 run with the promotion and offers him a chance to rebound against a solid European name. Whilst Petshi may not have been a name on Whiteford’s radar he is certainly looking forward to sharing the cage with the Frenchman.
“I don’t really pay much attention if I’m honest. I have maybe watched about three minutes of his whole career. I can see he is an exciting fighting that comes to fight and that’s the type of fighter I like. He isn’t something who is looking to lay on his opponents for a decision win.”
“There was a handful of people we were offered but some of them were pointless fights and others that I accepted that didn’t work out at their end. I got offered Chris “Krazy Horse” Bennett and that one was accepted but he couldn’t get a visa. I was then offered Petshi and this one worked out.”
The chance to fight again in the Hydro Arena for Whiteford was far too much of an attractive proposal to turn down, so much so that during contract negotiations he agreed to fighting at a lower weight than usual (140lbs).
“I am definitely not getting things all my way in this one. For instance the fight is taking place at 140lbs, even though he is a Featherweight naturally. So I am having to cut additional weight and even though the fight is taking place in Scotland I am not getting things all my way.”
Whiteford’s first taste of walking out at the Hydro Arena came last July at UFC Glasgow and was a memory that will live with him forever. However good that moment was, the Scotsman is not looking to live in the past and is excited about creating a new buzz when he makes the walk on 1st October.
“Obviously walking out in front of eleven thousand Scottish fans is a priceless moment. But with this fight I am not looking to replicate that. I am looking to set a new atmosphere and new experience. Going in as the main event I feel like I am up on the card were I deserve to be.”
“But fighting in the main event doesn’t make a difference. There are many fighters on that card that could take my place. I am not signalling myself out thinking I am better and I am just thankful that I am at the top of the bill.”
ACB 47 is stacked with some of Europe’s very best talent outside of the UFC and whilst Whiteford is keen to put his previous stint with the promotion behind him and focus on the future, it seems that the short term future may very well see him back inside the UFC Octagon.
“Getting to the UFC is everyone’s dream and I was fortunate enough to do that. I have pretty much ticked every box apart from staying with the promotion for a while which not a lot of people get the chance to do.”
“My short term goal is getting back to the UFC and they have already contacted me asking if I would be available for European shows and a return to Scotland next year. I want to pick up a win or two before that though.”
His first opportunity to get back to the win column comes on 1st October against Kevin Petshi and without overlooking this upcoming fight, Whiteford already has another very lucrative offer on the table from another Russian promotion.
“I have been offered another fight on 23rd December in Russia which is offering more money than I even made in my second contract with the UFC. These type of fights are hard to turn down. I mean after I was cut from the UFC I was offered £600 to fight on a local show in Scotland. Fighters shouldn’t be letting promoters get away with this and should fight for what they are worth.”
Just over a week out from the fight and what happens in future is very much out of Whiteford’s focus right now with all roads leading to ACB 47 at the Hydro Arena on 1st October. The one thing that he does have control over however is how he performs on fight night and the Scotsman is very confident that regardless of outcome he will be putting on a show.
“The fans can expect a home grown talent from Scotland putting on a show. Everyone in that arena is going to get their money’s worth just in the main event alone regardless of where they are sitting.”
Be sure to follow Rob on social media @Flyinjudoka