When focusing on the development and growth of MMA in recent years it is obvious, often touted as the fastest growing sport in the World there have been many people that have greatly contributed to the sport, in World legacy ways such as Jon Jones to those who are something of national legends due to how they managed to help the sport grow in our country. Before Stevie Ray (UFC), before Paul Craig (UFC), before Joanne Calderwood (UFC), before Danny Henry (UFC), before Chris Duncan (Bellator) and before Chris Bungard (Bellator)., there was Robert Whiteford.
Robert Whiteford made history on October 26th, 2013 on the UFC Fight Night: Machida Vs. Munoz undercard, stepping in on short notice to fight Jimy Hettes on less than a weeks notice after Hettes‘ original opponent Mike Wilkinson had to withdraw from the card due to injury. On that night, the Scotsman lost his late replacement debut but it didn’t matter, he made a good account of himself and proved that Scotland deserved to be taken seriously on the World stage.
Less than 2 years later, on July 18th 2015 it only made sense that the first Scotsman to fight on the UFC’s promotional debut on Scottish soil would be the man that brought us into the UFC in the first place, Robert ‘The Hammer’ Whiteford as he squared off against Irish MMA veteran Paul Redmond, coming out to bagpipe music blasting throughout the arena, the crowd erupted and were clearly in support for the hometown boy. By 3.04 into round 1, the fight was called off and Robert Whiteford was declared the winner via (T)KO. Later that night saw Stevie Ray win against Leonardo Mafra, earning a Performance of the Night bonus in the first round and Joanne Calderwood win a unanimous decision against the late replacement promotional debut of Cortney Casey, earning the Fight of the Night bonus.
On that night Scotland made its presence is known, nowadays with people like Ross Houston reigning as the Cage Warriors Welterweight Champion I feel like it only makes sense to highlight the man who brought us into the World stage, recently retired from the sport I think I think I speak for everyone when I say, thank you Robert.