Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker does not intend on having a long layoff following his recent setback.
Whittaker faced Israel Adesanya in a middleweight title unification fight in the main event of UFC 243 this past weekend. However, he was outclassed by “The Last Stylebender” who proceeded to knock him out in the second round to become the new undisputed king at 185 pounds.
Luckily for Whittaker, he didn’t suffer any major injuries during the contest and is planning on returning to training soon once he’s medically clear. In fact, he’s targeting a return early next year:
“I’m not looking to take a long time off,” Whittaker said on his podcast (via MMA Junkie). “Obviously I have to give myself the appropriate amount of rest time for my brain, but I want to get back in there, and I want to just get back to work.
“If my health is all on point, on check, February, March next year. That’s not out of the ordinary. I think that would be good.”
As for the fight itself, Whittaker maintains he felt great going into it. He also didn’t feel he was getting out struck by Adesanya either:
“I felt great going in, I felt great walking out, I felt great in there,” Whittaker explained. “I felt great trading with him. I didn’t feel like I was getting out struck. I felt good, but he’s a great fighter.
“His timing is on point, and I was trying to close that gap to get in there on him, and I got caught at the end of the first, which set the tone for the second. I got back to what I was doing, and I got caught in the second round, as well.”
Who do you think should face Whittaker next?