Earlier this month in the main event of UFC 213, Robert Whittaker realized a dream as he defeated Yoel Romero via unanimous decision to claim the interim UFC middleweight title, and secure himself a fight with middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
For Robert Whittaker, the fight was not without its share of difficulties. Early on in the fight, Whittaker appeared to hyperextend his knee, and as commentator Joe Rogan pointed out, was noticeably unsteady on the leg. Despite that, Whittaker put on an impressive display as he stuffed the Olympian’s takedowns, and continued to out-strike Romero.
In the wake of the fight, it was revealed via the medical suspensions that Whittaker could be out for several months due to the knee injury.
He spoke to Australia’s Daily Telegraph to discuss the injury, which actually occurred prior to the fight, as well as his return:
“I SUFFERED A STRAIN DURING TRAINING AND THOUGHT IT WOULD BE SWEET,” WHITTAKER SAID. “AND IT MIGHT’VE BEEN HAD ROMERO NOT KICKED IT LIKE HE DID. SO AS FOR WHEN I’M BACK? MY BODY WILL BE THE CLOCK.
“I TOOK A LOT OF LITTLE NIGGLING INJURIES INTO THAT ROMERO FIGHT. THAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH TAKING FIGHTS TOO CLOSE TOGETHER. THEY WERE INJURIES THAT NOT ONLY IMPEDE YOUR TRAINING, BUT ALSO PUT YOU IN BLOODY PAIN.”
“DOCTORS ALWAYS THINK THE END OF THE WORLD, RIGHT? IF IT WAS UP TO THEM I’D BE IN A WHEELCHAIR,” WHITTAKER SAID. “BUT I’M EXTREMELY LUCKY TO HAVE A GREAT SPORTS DOC IN ANDREW MCDONALD. HE WORKS WITH SOUTH SYDNEY (AS HEAD OF MEDICAL) SO HE’S SEEN A LOT OF SPORTS INJURIES AND KNOWS HIS ATHLETES WELL.“THE INJURY ITSELF, IT’S NOT REALLY MY JOB TO UNDERSTAND. ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT IT’S A SERIOUS GRADE 2 MEDIAL … AND HURT LIKE HELL WHEN IT HAPPENED.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/21/2017.