After suffering his first loss since joining the middleweight division, Robert Whittaker doesn’t have plans to be on the sidelines for too long. The former UFC middleweight champion who dropped his belt to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243, addressed the loss on his podcast and updated fans on when he expects to return.
Whittaker began his UFC career in the welterweight division and after a loss to Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson back in 2014, he would have one more fight at 170 pounds before making the jump to the middleweight division. Since moving up to 185 pounds, Whittaker has compiled wins over the likes of Uriah Hall, Derek Brunson, Jacare Souza, and Yoel Romero (twice), but fell short in his fight against Adesanya, who is undefeated in his MMA career.
Discussing the loss on his podcast GrangeTV, Whittaker discussed his loss at UFC 243 with grace but making it a point to let it be known, he’s focused on getting back inside the Octagon and working back towards his title.
“People may not know this but I’ve lost before. I’ve lost before and I’ve came back better and that’s exactly what I intend to do. I’m under no illusion that I was unbeatable. Everybody can beat everybody on any given day. I’m going to start training again and try to beat the next guy.”
While “The Reaper” did not discuss in detail a future opponent for his return, he did state that he’s looking to get back into the cage sooner rather than later.
“I’m not looking to take a long time off. 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. It’s what I do. If y health is all on point, on check, February, March next year. That’s not out of the ordinary, I think that would be good.”
The newly crowned middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has his sights set on undefeated challenger Paulo Costa for his first title defense, so for Whittaker, there will be a slew of possible opponents awaiting his return, depending on scheduling. A trilogy with Yoel Romero, a fight with rising contender Jared Cannonier, or facing the winner of Darren Till vs Kelvin Gastelum could all be options for the former champion when he returns.