Losing streaks aren't something you want in UFC.
The world's biggest mixed martial arts promotion doesn't take kindly to fighters who don't find ways to win and Kiwi-born Australian Robert Whittaker is aware of this.
The welterweight has lost his past two bouts and wants to stop the rot when he meets American Mike Rhodes at Vector Arena next month at UFC Fight Night Auckland: Te Huna vs Marquardt.
Whittaker, who won the welterweight division on television show The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes in late 2012, triumphed in his next UFC bout with a knockout against Colton Smith last May but has struggled since. He lost a tough split decision against Court McGee at UFC Fight Night 27 in August and was scheduled to compete on home soil against Brian Melancon at UFC Fight Night 33 in Brisbane in December but Melancon pulled out three weeks before the event due to renal stress and subsequently retired.
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"I was pretty upset about that," Whittaker said.
He was then knocked out in the first round of his UFC 170 showdown against Stephen Thompson in January meaning Whittaker (12-4) is now under pressure to register a win when he meets Rhodes.
"I've assessed a lot of reasons why I lost and you just go back to the drawing board ... they say you learn a lot more from a loss than a win," the 23-year-old said. "I can make it up now and the fact this is also making history with the first UFC event to come to New Zealand - it's huge."
Whittaker was born at Auckland's Middlemore Hospital but moved across the ditch with his family when he was 1 and was raised in Sydney, where he is still based.
Kiwi James Te Huna (16-7) will headline the June 28 card in a middleweight bout with veteran American Nate Marquardt (32-13-2).
After losing his past two bouts at light heavyweight, next month's match will mark Te Huna's debut at middleweight.