UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker was last seen in action at UFC 225, defeating Yoel Romero by decision.
The champion suffered a hand injury in that bout and now he may not be able to fight again until early 2019.
“I haven’t even started the rehab process yet,” Whittaker told ESPN. “Just more letting it heal first before I can implement that. They put a plate and some screws in (the right hand). Realistically I’m looking at February next year.”
Whittaker has fought Romero twice and suffered injuries in both bouts, with the champion suffering a knee injury in their first encounter at UFC 213.
Even though the rehabilitation process has yet to begin, one thing the champion believes is that the injury won’t affect any future performances.
"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 all isn’t bad for the champ right now, as he will coach opposite of Kelvin Gastelum on the upcoming season of the UFC Ultimate Fighter.