Jolldan Posted July 17, 2018 Report Share Posted July 17, 2018 (edited) https://www.mmaweekly.com/robert-whittaker-says-injuries-rule-out-fighting-again-in-2018 UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker on Monday ruled out fighting again in 2018. Despite coaching opposite Kelvin Gastelum on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, which concludes with the finale on Nov. 30, Whittaker said that he won’t be able to defend his belt against Gastelum until sometime in early 2019 at the soonest. Whittaker broke his right hand in his most recent fight, an immediate rematch with Yoel Romero, but added on Monday’s Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on ESPN that he also damaged ligaments in his left hand. Having had surgery recently on his right hand, Whittaker said he couldn’t realistically fight again before February of 2019. “I haven’t even started the rehab process yet,” Whittaker said. “Just more letting it heal first before I can implement that. They put a plate and some screws in. Realistically, I’m looking at February next year.” Generally, when TUF coaches fight, it’s rather soon following the series. Whittaker and Gastelum having to wait at least two months or more certainly hampers the momentum built from their coaching stints on the show. This latest setback adds fuel to Gastelum’s recent comments, questioning whether or not Whittaker could be the same explosive fighter following two tough, five-round wars with Yoel Romero that left the champion injured after both. Whittaker, however, believes he still hasn’t fully capitalized on his full potential as a fighter. “I’m not worried that it’ll have any effect on my performance,” he said. “I haven’t even reached the peak of my potential. This hard fight is going to mold me and shape me as to how I approach fights from here on. I think everyone has to have their mettle tested in a tough fight. That was one of them for me.” It does pose an interesting question on how soaking up all this damage is going to affect the longevity of Rob's title reign. Think about it so far he's only had two title fights both with Romero. Just since that first Romero fight he has had Medial Knee Injury - Had him out for 6 months fight time in 2017. Serious Staph Infection - Had him out from of his January fight until June. Broken Right Hand & Damaged Left - Will miss at least another 6 months of fight time. Rob's still young so I don't doubt he will recover from this one but what is now starting to seem like a continuous stream of injures is worrying for the guys future. Especially when the latest is a hand injury, so many boxers I have seen break their hands and are never quite the same. Edited July 17, 2018 by Jolldan Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now