According to his manager, UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker would like to return to action before the end of the year against another former 185lb titleholder, Chris Weidman.
Whittaker is currently recovering after suffering a broken thumb in his second victory over Yoel Romero at UFC 225 last month, which extended his winning run to nine fights, so a quick return to action isn’t possible, but he does have a big event in mind for his eventual return.
“Madison Square Garden is a possibility,” Titus Day told The Daily Telegraph of Whittaker’s interest in fighting at the end-of-year UFC PPV in New York City. “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.”
Weidman is also nursing himself back from a thumb injury, so that could certainly work timing wise, and he is the current No.3 contender in the division, having earned a submission win over Kelvin Gastelum in his last Octagon outing.
That was back in July of last year though and beforehand Weidman had lost three fights in a row, so it’s not ideal, but the truth is that there is no perfect opponent right now given that Romero has had his chance twice and came up empty-handed, No.2 contender Luke Rockhold lost to the aforementioned ‘Soldier Of Gold’ last time out.
The only other possibility would be the No.4 ranked Gastelum, who is currenty on-form, having KO’d Michael Bisping followed by earning a split decision victory over Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.