Since being cut from the UFC Robert ‘The Hammer’ Whiteford (14-4-0) has been on quite a tear. He landed on his feet signing a lucrative deal with stalking horse promotion Absolute Championship Berkut picking up wins against Kevin Petshi and UFC vet Nam Phan. It was announced earlier this week that Whiteford would next meet Manchester’s Kane Mousah (10-1-0) in a featherweight headline bout on May 19th at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England.
With the UFC poised to return to Scotland last year it was widely expected that Whiteford would be re-joining the UFC’s roster to bolster the Scottish contingent on the card. After being repeatedly told to ready himself for the UFC’s return and with UFC vet Brad Pickett constantly speaking with Sean Shelby it would soon transpire an offer of a contract with the organisation would not be happening anytime soon. Whiteford tells me, “I was still on their radar and I was told to keep active. It just came down to the question of how long should I hold out and wait. I couldn’t sit around and wait forever.”
With ACB putting on more shows and increasing the choices available to fighters Whiteford was keen to explain why he was initially holding out for a return to the ‘Big Show’ as he said, “It’s like going back to a bad ex she’s not the best and she doesn’t treat you great but you just can’t seem to get away from her.” Whiteford laughs as he continues, “You sometimes get those ex’s that drop you a wee message now and again ‘what are you up to?’ It was the same with the UFC. They were always saying there is card coming up here, get ready. The Kane Mousah fight was the only UK fight that excited me so I thought if nothing else is happening then I’m taking that. Mousah’ll get his time, the c–t.”
Kane Mousah, the outspoken Mancunian, isn’t afraid to mince his words when it comes to demanding who he should fight next. He made a list via Twitter of the people he would like to face and Whiteford was at the top of that list. Whiteford was less than impressed, “He called me out. F–kers don’t get away with that where I’m from. You say my name and you are going to pay for it some way or another. He’s lucky I’m not down in Manchester going through his door with a baseball bat. He’s an absolute dickhead and spoke out of school. People who know me know you don’t speak to me like that, and if you do then it’s on.”
“Mousah was on Twitter calling people out. at the time he called out myself, Alex Enlund and a couple of other guys. At the time of the call out I was getting ready to get married so I just kept radio silent on it. I just kept thinking, ‘I’ll deal with you, you c–t when I get back’. As soon as the wedding was over it was straight back to business. I had an offer for Bellator and an offer for KSW but it was this fight that really excited me as I felt Mousah would really be up for a fight.”
With his friend and training partner, the UFC’s Marc Diakiese, on hand to offer advice after successfully stopping Mousah via KO before going to the UFC one would imagine Diakiese would be all over Whiteford’s training camp. Not according to ‘The Hammer’ whose gameplan seems simple and resolute.
“I don’t think Mousah wants to hear Marc Diakiese’s name again. I imagine every time Mousah hears Diakiese’s name the lyrics ‘Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again’ plays in his head,” Whiteford laughs, “That knock out made him famous.”
“I’m gonna hit him as hard as I can and put his lights out. I’m sure he’s not too confident in that chin of his after being knocked out by Marc. He is a pr–k, he’s come at me with attitude and he’s getting it right back. I’m not gonna sit here and be Mr nice guy. If he wants to play with fire, I’ll f–king burn him.”
ACB 87 is set to go down on May 19th, 2018 at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England.
Tickets go on sale on Thursday 22nd March at 3PM, with an early bird offer in place for the opening two weeks of sales, with the cheapest ticket starting at just £20. Tickets are available to purchase at motorpointarenanottingham.com or by calling 0843 373 3000.