The UFC middleweight champion told
ESPN's Ariel Helwani that the hand injury suffered in his
split-decision victory over Yoel Romero
at UFC 225 will keep him out until February at the earliest.
Whittaker broke his right hand in the opening round of the June 9
bout and also revealed that he suffered ligament damage in his left
Whittaker recently underwent surgery and will need the rest of 2018
"I haven't even started the rehab process yet," Whittaker said.
"Just more letting it heal first before I can implement that. They
put a plate and some screws in. Realistically I'm looking at
February next year.”
Whittaker will coach opposite Kelvin
Gastelum on “The Ultimate Fighter 28,” before defending his
title against Gastelum at an as yet-to-be determined date. The
27-year-old has won nine consecutive fights and doesn’t expect his
latest injury to hinder him down the road.
"I'm not worried that it'll have any effect on my performance,"
Whittaker 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.”