Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is planning to return to training soon after his recent setback.
Whittaker encountered Israel Adesanya in a middleweight title unification fight in the main event of UFC 243 this past Saturday at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. However, “The Reaper” was knockedout by “The Last Stylebender” in the second round to become the new undeniable king at 185 pounds.
The 28-year-old said he would like to return to the UFC in February or March of 2020.
“I’m not looking to take a long time off,” Whittaker said. “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.”
Whittaker said he felt great heading into UFC 243 but gives credit to Adesanya for having the better timing on the night.
“I felt great going in, I felt great walking out, I felt great in there,” Whittaker said. “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.”
Prior to his defeat against Adesanya, Whittaker was riding a nine-fight win streak and claimed to be the best middleweight in the UFC. The Sydney-based fighter holds wins over the likes of Yoel Romero, Uriah Hall, Ronaldo Souza, and Derek Brunson.