Robert Whittaker had to cancel his latest title defense at UFC 234 on extremely short notice this past weekend after suffering from a collapsed bowel and internal hernia, but after successfully undergoing sugery he’s now targetting a return to action in the summer.
That’s the word according to Whittaker’s manager Titus Day, who told ESPN that for the time being his client is still experiencing a considerable amount of pain, but should be able to compete again in a few months time.
“I’d say he’ll be able to fight next sometime between June and August depending on recovery,” Day said. “Hopefully closer to June.”
There’ll certainly be pressure on Whittaker to return as soon as possible as repeated injury setbacks have put the division on hold and other fights are starting to get impatient, not least of all Israel Adesanya, who defeated Anderson Silva in the rearranged headliner for UFC 234 and now wants ‘The Reaper’ stripped of the belt.
“Honestly, you know when Dominick Cruz kept hurting himself and got surgery after surgery after surgery? The UFC stripped him, and this is another one of those,” Adesanya told MMAjunkie Radio. “This isn’t the first time this has happened or second time with Robert. This is ongoing. He’s hurt, he’s out for much longer, and he’s hurt again, then has a fight and is out for this long. You can’t hold up the whole division. My idea is strip him, take the belt off him, and me and Kelvin fight for the real belt. Then when he’s all healed up and 100 percent, he can come see me and challenge for the belt.”