Surgery seems to have gone well for Robert Whittaker, and if the healing process goes as planned, the UFC middleweight champion could be eyeing a blockbuster fight near the end of the year.
“So Madison Square Garden is a possibility,” Whittaker's manager, Titus Day, recently told The Daily Telegraph. “Rob's the middleweight champ and his last two fights have been wars. So if his hand heals up as quickly as we're hoping, we would definitely push for him to compete at the greatest fight arena in the world. And Chris Weidman, as the former champ, would be a perfect rival for that fight.”
Whittaker is coming off a hard-fought split verdict over Yoel Romero in the UFC 225 headliner on June 9. The bout was supposed to be his first 185-pound title defense, but it become a non-title affair after Romero missed weight. “The Reaper” broke his right thumb in the victory.
Weidman, a former middleweight champion, has been healing from a hand injury of his own and hasn't competed since submitting Kelvin Gastelum in the third round of the UFC on Fox 25 headliner in July 2017. That ended a three-fight skid for the Serra-Longo Fight Team member.
The Las Vegas-based promotion will return to Madison Square Garden for an event on Nov. 3 – likely UFC 230 – and Day says a late 2018 return would be ideal for Whittaker.