UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker put on an absolute classic with Yoel Romero in the main event of UFC 225 this past weekend (Sat. June 9, 2018) in a five round non-title fight.
The bout was initially scheduled to be for the 185-pound title, however, Romero missed weight by only .2 pounds. Instead of calling off the fight altogether, Whittaker decided to continue on against The Soldier Of God in a non-title bout.
Both men put on extraordinary performances, Whittaker catching the Cuban in dangerous positions a few times, and Romero nearly finishing the champion on two separate occasions as well. In the end, the judges awarded Whittaker the split decision win.
After the fight Whittaker revealed that his hand had swollen up very badly. He recently spoke to The Australian and revealed that he has a clean break in his thumb and will be requiring surgery to repair it.
Bobby Knuckles noted he could return to fight before the end of 2018, but won’t rush himself and will only fight once his body feels 100 percent:
“Maybe I could be fighting at the end of the year but the hand has to feel 100 per cent. I’ll take a fight when my body is good and ready. How long that will take will depend on the rehab process and how everything is going.”
The injury certainly sounds like a frightening one, as Whittaker detailed not being able to feel from his fingertips all the way down to his forearm in the middle of the fight. Despite the discomfort, Whittaker continued onward and executed his game-plan to the best of his ability:
“I just remember a point where I couldn’t feel my hand from my fingertips to my forearm and I was like ‘well that’s not good,” he said. “It hampered me quite significantly but I stuck to the game plan. I shoved a stiff jab, good kicks, and it was working fine until he got a couple of good hits in.”