Robert Whittaker, a UFC middleweight champion has not fought since he bested Yoel Romero by unanimous decision back in July at UFC 213. Then promotion made him a champ when Georges St-Pierre vacated the belt due to a medical condition in December after defeating Michael Bisping at UFC 217 to win it.
He was supposed to defend his title against former champion Luke Rockhold in the main event of UFC 221, but he was removed from that bout due to an undisclosed injury. Even UFC President Dana White revealed the extent of Whittaker’s injury last week.
Now Robert Whittaker breaks the silence and opened up about what took him out, and it’s absolutely bonkers. (video via Submission Radio)
“Everyone knows I like to fight injured,” said Whittaker (transcript courtesy of MMA Fighting). “Half the fights I’ve taken I’ve always been injured. Just before I got ill, I pulled my hamstring. We could work around it, and we were doing things to compensate for it, we were working around it, but then I got a really bad infection, and the infection and the antibiotics just took it out of me.
I was really struggling to recover and then right at the end of the infection, I got the chickenpox [laughs]. That’s why I’ve got the scars all over my face. It was an absolute mess. If anyone’s had it, it’s just horrible [laughs].”
”When they offered this outcome to me I was delighted,” said Whittaker. “The number one and number two contenders get to bash each other, and I was just like, ‘Yes. Good. Please.’
As a fan of this sport, I would’ve paid to watch this fight. This is a fight I think people want to see, and I’m more than happy to bash Yoel again, or I’m more than happy to give it to Rockhold as well. We’ll see.”
Whittaker said he wants to return sometime in the middle of 2018 and give the business to whoever comes out victorious at the Australia PPV he was supposed to headline. He has suffered an injury, an infection and then chicken pox that led him out of UFC 221.
”I’m just focused on recovering,” Whittaker said. “I’m gonna let Yoel and Rockhold punch it out a bit, but things are good, and I’m looking for a big return mid-year. So let’s see what happens.”