The question remains – who will be the next challenger for Robert Whittaker’s UFC middleweight throne?
“Bobby Knuckles” edged out a hard-fought split decision over Yoel Romero at UFC 225 last month. Due to Romero missing weight, however, the bout was ruled a non-title fight, thus denying the Australian the first successful defense of his career. Romero has now lost back-to-back opportunities at 185-pound gold, so he won’t be getting another shot anytime soon.
Chris Weidman and Kelvin Gastelum currently sit at the top of the contender’s ladder, sparking a debate amongst the mixed martial arts (MMA) community as to who deserves it more. Weidman hasn’t competed since defeating Gastelum in July of last year via submission.
The only issue is that since that fight, Gastelum has picked up back-to-back wins while “The All American” has been sidelined with an injury.
Whittaker’s manager, Titus Day, recently spoke to The Daily Telegraph, and offered his thoughts on the matter. Day suggested Whittaker, who is recovering from a broken thumb sustained against Romero, could be ready to return to action by the end of the year in New York – and he thinks Weidman would be the perfect opponent:
“So Madison Square Garden is a possibility,” Day said. “Rob’s the middleweight champ and his last two fights have been wars. So if his hand heals up as quickly as we’re hoping, we would definitely push for him to compete at the greatest fight arena in the world. And Chris Weidman, as the former champ, would be a perfect rival for that fight.
“I’ve spoken to Rob this week and he definitely wants to be ready by the end of the year. His surgery went well, it was a clean break which is the best you can get, and there doesn’t seem to have been any complications. So if all goes well, we’ll definitely look at that New York card. It’s traditionally one of the biggest on the UFC calendar and after the way Rob has won his last two fights over in the States, there is huge interest in him now.”