Robert Whittaker
The Reaper


Confirmed for UFC 243
July 23, 2019
The UFC announced Tuesday that Whittaker (sports hernia) would take on Israel Adesanya (17-0-0) in a middleweight fight on Oct. 5 at UFC 243 in Melbourne, Guilherme Cruz of reports.
As expected, Whittaker (20-4-0) will defend his title in his home country of Australia after he was previously forced to back out of a matchup with Kelvin Gastelum in Melbourne at UFC 234 while recovering from surgery to address a sports hernia. He'll be nearly eight months removed from the procedure by the time UFC 243 arrives, so Whittaker isn't expected to face any major restrictions with his training as the Oct. 5 fight date looms. The undefeated Adesanya, who holds a four-inch advantage in height and seven-inch advantage in reach, could enter the fight as the favorite despite being the challenger.
Read More News
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Robert Whittaker
DraftKings MMA: UFC Ottawa Preview
84 days ago
New York's own Al Iaquinta looks to continue his climb up the rankings against fan-favorite Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone on Saturday in Ottawa. Jon Litterine makes his picks and breaks down four key fights.
MMA Barometer: Rising Young Stars
103 days ago
A red-hot Johnny Walker is one fighter profiled by Evan Dahl in his latest examination of fighters trending up and down in the UFC.
DraftKings MMA: UFC 236 Preview
105 days ago
After a week off, the UFC returns with a pay-per-view card in Atlanta featuring two title fights, and another fighter looking to become "champ-champ." Jon Litterine breaks down five key bouts.
DraftKings MMA: UFC 235 Preview
148 days ago
The biggest card of the year means the biggest prize pools on DraftKings, and Jon Litterine is back to break down five key fights and make his picks for the entire card.
RotoWire Staff Picks: UFC 234
167 days ago
It may be a top-heavy card, but the two headliners from the 185-pound division surely are not there to disappoint this Saturday at UFC 234 from Melbourne, Australia. The RotoWire MMA staff gets together to make their picks.
More Fantasy News
Tentative return date set
June 19, 2019
Whittaker (hernia) is expected to make his return to the Octagon at UFC 243 on October 5 in Melbourne, Australia, where he'll defend his middleweight title against interim champion Israel Adesanya, Raphael Marinho of Combate reports.
Whittaker had been scheduled for a title defense against Kelvin Gastelum the last time the UFC was scheduled to go to Melbourne (UFC 234), but he ultimately was forced to withdraw due to a serious sports hernia issue that required surgery. In the champion's absence, the UFC booked an interim title fight between Gastelum and Israel Adesanya, and Adesanya ended up taking a unanimous decision in a bout that earned Fight of the Night honors. This unification bout was always expected to be the next step, and now the UFC appears to have a date set. Whittaker will be giving up four inches in height and seven inches in reach to Adesanya, so it wouldn't be surprising to see the betting odds swing towards the challenger around weigh-in time. Underestimating the champion due to his time off would be a grave mistake, however, as Whittaker has been facing elite fighters in both the welterweight and middleweight division through his time with the company that began in 2012. He's been KO'd just once in the UFC (Stephen Thompson in 2014), but moved up to middleweight after that, where he's posted a perfect 9-0 record. He has a slight edge in volume striking over Adesanya, in addition to a highly-regarded chin. This five-round affair should be a close and exciting fight that produces high fantasy outputs, as both men are expected to stay on their feet and slug it out.
Looking at late-summer return
February 27, 2019
Whittaker (hernia) told Ariel Helwani of ESPN on Monday that he is hopeful to be back in the Octagon in August.
Whittaker was forced to withdraw from his most recent title defense against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234, and was ultimately taken to the hospital to undergo surgery for a hernia and collapsed bowel. The condition was considered life-threatening at the time, but the recovery process for "Bobby Knuckles" seems to be going well. In approximately four weeks, Whittaker plans to resume training and will be back in the cage by August if all goes well. Due to this absence, the UFC has scheduled an interim middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum for UFC 236 in April, putting the winner in line to face Whittaker in a unification bout in August.
Surgery called 'serious and complicated'
February 10, 2019
Whittaker expects to be discharged from a Melbourne hospital Thursday following Saturday's 3.5 hour surgical procedure, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
It's been an incredibly difficult weekend to say the least for the UFC's middleweight champion, who was forced to withdraw from his title defense on the day of the fight and undergo emergency hernia surgery. Initial reports suggested a four-week absence, though many familiar with this type of procedure have intimated that it has the potential to keep Whittaker on the shelf much longer. Helwani reports that there is currently no timetable for return after what he described as a "serious and complicated surgery." It's too early to tell if the UFC intends to create an interim middleweight title while Whittaker goes through the recovery process, but that will presumably be evaluated in roughly four weeks. A fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya certainly has some appeal, with the winner presumably facing Whittaker in a unification bout once he is healthy.
Shut down for four weeks
February 9, 2019
Whittaker will be shut down for four weeks while he recovers from hernia surgery, Aaron Bronsteter of reports.
Whittaker felt strong abdominal pain the night before his scheduled title defense against Kelvin Gastelum and was forced to undergo surgery, cancelling the fight. The four-week time period appears to be the time in which Whittaker will be unable to train, so he'll need some additional time beyond that to get back into fighting shape. It remains unclear if and when he'll be able to reschedule his bout with Gastelum.
Pulls out of title defense
February 9, 2019
Whittaker was forced to withdraw from his title defense fight against Kelvin Gastelum due to a hernia in his abdomen, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Whittaker will miss out on the opportunity to defend his title on home soil. The injury was reportedly not related to his weight cut. Whittaker will undergo surgery Saturday, Okamoto reports. It's not yet clear how long he'll be away from the octagon and if the pair will be able to reschedule the fight.