A defiant Rob Whittaker is planning on returning in early 2020 and says he’ll be better than ever after losing to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 last weekend.
Whittaker relinquished the middleweight title to The Stylebender via second round knockout, but says he can’t wait to get back to training.
“People may not know this, but I’ve lost before and I came back better,” Whittaker joked during the latest episdoe of his Grange TV podcast.
“That’s exactly what I intend to do.
“I’m under no illusions that I was unbeatable. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day.
“I’m gonna lick my wounds, I’m gonna go back to the mats on Monday and I’m gonna start training again and try and beat the next guy.
“I’m not going to quit because I lost.”
Whittaker says he’ll get a CT scan before returning to full time training, but is eyeing up another fight in early 2020.
“If my health is all on point, February or March next year – that’s not out of the ordinary,” he said.
“I think that’ll be good.”
His UFC 243 defeat was Whittaker’s first loss in five years and nine fights, and the Sydneysider doesn’t regard the result as a setback.
“What was a setback was when I had to go for surgery – that was a setback,” he said, referencing the emergency surgery he needed just hours ahead of his scheduled UFC 234 title defence against Kelvin Gastelum in February.
“This is just part of the career, this is just part of my journey, part of the ups and downs of fighting.
“If you never wanted to encounter hardships or the taste of defeat, I would’ve never put my hat in the ring, because it’s always there.
“Everybody loses. It’s just part of the game.”
In the days since the fight, Whittaker says he stopped looking at Instagram and reactions on YouTube, but hit out at people who thought he would retire.
“No, I’m not going to retire because I lost,” he said.
“That’s stupid. And people who thought I was going to retire are stupid.
“I’m going to get back to work and beat the next guy. Maybe work on keeping my hands a little higher.”