Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker doesn’t want to dwell too much on his loss to Israel Adesanya.
Whittaker was knocked out by Adesanya in the second round of the UFC 243 main event this past Saturday at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, and ‘The Reaper’ wants to return to the Octagon as soon as medically possible.
Speaking on a recent episode of his exclusive podcast, Grange TV, the 28-year-old said he would like to return to the UFC in February or March of next year.
“I’m not looking to take a long time off,” Whittaker said, per BJPenn.com. “Obviously I have to give myself the appropriate amount of rest time for my brain, but I want to get back in there, and I want to just get back to work. If my health is all on point, on check, February, March next year. That’s not out of the ordinary. I think that would be good.”
Whittaker is no stranger to defeat, and the Aussie knows he has what it takes to come back stronger than ever.
“People may not know this, but I’ve lost before,” he explained. “I’ve lost before, and I’ve came back better, and that’s exactly what I intend to do. I’m under no illusion that I was unbeatable; everybody can beat everybody on the given day, and I’m just going to lick my wounds, I’m going to get back on the mats on Monday, and I’m just going to start training again and try to just beat the next guy.”
Whittaker said he felt great heading into UFC 243 but credits Adesanya for having the better timing on the night.
“I felt great going in, I felt great walking out, I felt great in there,” Whittaker said. “I felt great trading with him. I didn’t feel like I was getting out struck. I felt good, but he’s a great fighter. His timing is on point, and I was trying to close that gap to get in there on him, and I got caught at the end of the first, which set the tone for the second. I got back to what I was doing, and I got caught in the second round, as well.”
Prior to his loss to Adesanya, Whittaker was riding a nine-fight win streak and considered the best middleweight in the UFC. The Sydney-based fighter holds wins over the likes of Yoel Romero, Ronaldo Souza, Derek Brunson, and Uriah Hall.