UFC Interim Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker won the championship when he defeated Yoel Romero by decision at UFC 213.
However, the win did not come without its consequences, as the champion has suffered a grade two medial ligament injury to his left knee.
Although there is no specific time frame set yet for the interim champion's return, the most likely scenario is that he doesn’t return until sometime in 2018.
“Doctors always think the end of the world, right? If it was up to them I’d be in a wheelchair,” Whittaker told the Australian Daily Telegraph. “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 two medial ... and hurt like hell when it happened.”
Whittaker is expected to face UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping when he recovers from his injury.
The interim champion also wouldn’t be shocked if Bisping fought somebody else as he recovered from injury.
“No, not at all,’’ he said. “I’ve never worried about what other fighters do and that’s served me well in the past.”
Bisping himself is on the shelf with a knee injury as well, the middleweight kingpin was expected to fight by the end of this year.