At UFC 234, Robert Whittaker was supposed to defend his middleweight title against Kelvin Gastelum. Of course, as you know by now, that didn’t happen. The evening before the bout, Whittaker came down with severe stomach pains that ended up being a sudden onset hernia and collapsed bowel that required emergency surgery. Since then, Whittaker has been recovering from his surgery and the UFC booked an interim middleweight title bout between Gastelum and Israel Adesanya for UFC 236 on April 13. When all that is said and done, Whittaker is hoping to get back in there and fight the winner at the end of summer.
“They said that after about two weeks I can start to walk again and then about four weeks I can start to ease back into training and movement and things like that and then just take it from there,” Whittaker told Ariel Helwani recently. “The main thing is not to lift because obviously my intestine and bowels are a bit funny with the scarring and cuts that I had to get.
“. . . I’ve penned in my diary ‘August’ but my biggest calendar is just my health. I’ve never had a hard timeline on when I fight ever. It’s just one of those things, I need to get better, when I’m better I train, and then I fight to the best of my ability. So I think August is a good date. I think, obviously I have to let Adesanya and Gastelum fight and then when they’re ready I’ll give them a run.”
The creation of the interim belt didn’t sit well with many fans. After all, it has not even been a year since Whittaker last defended his belt and this injury does not look like it will sideline him for an overly extended period of time. On the other side of the spectrum, both Adesanya campaigned for Whittaker to be stripped of the title and Gastelum paraded around at UFC 234 wearing his friend flyweight champion Henry Cejudo’s belt and proclaiming himself the true middleweight champion. Ever the cool customer, Whittaker was fine with both the interim title and Gastelum’s fake belt, though he did have an important question about their fight.
“I was happy for them,” Whittaker said. “I think it’s good. I think it’s good for both of them. I think they jumped the queue a little bit and I feel for the other middleweight contenders, the top dudes, but I think it’s good for them to fight it out, to have to have that run before they get a shot at me. I need a little bit of time and they’ve got something to do now.
“ . . . A better thing to ask is are Adesanya and Gastelum gonna fight for Cejudo’s belt? [Laughing] Or is it gonna be a new one? Does he give it back? I’m not sure.”
With Whittaker now planning to fight the winner of the interim title fight, he will obviously be watching UFC 236 closely. And though he was unwilling to pick who he thought would win between the two, Whittaker did reveal that a part of him is hoping Adesanya continues his rise.
“I think, stylistically for us, I think Adesanya matches up better for me,” Whittaker said. “I think I can get inside his guard and I can put heat on him. I think Gastelum is a hard fight because he’s a tough guy with a thick head and he would have just put the pressure on, put the pace on. I think Adesanya doesn’t like pacing like that sort of way, I think he would try and play a distance game with me which I’m very happy to do, but I’m very quick and I surprise a lot of people with that.
“That’s not an easier fight, wrong word. It’s a better fight for me. Plus, of course, with the area and our countries, I think it would be a great matchup.”
Moving on up. PFL signs multi-year deal with ESPN.
Fine. Dillon Danis receives seven-month suspension, $7,500 fine for role in UFC 229 post-fight brawl.
Injuries. Paul Felder details ‘scary’ injuries after UFC Phoenix, including collapsed lung.
Harsh. Ben Askren: If Colby Covington never fights again, ‘I don’t think one person in the world will shed a tear’.
Confidence. Tyron Woodley believes ‘nervous’ Kamaru Usman trying to ‘reassure’ himself going into UFC 235.
The MMA Hour.
UFC 235 Media Lunch.
UFC 235 Countdown.
Anthony Smith’s camp.
Bellator 217 highlights.
Severe MMA. Discussing Bellator Dublin, UFC Prague, and UFC 235.
The Co-Main Event. Looking at the muddled picture that is the UFC lightweight division.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Breaking news! UFC 235 is this Saturday!! Will you be a witness?https://t.co/Y4OD7fL10o— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) February 26, 2019
Will you? You still got 5 days to piss clean.....— Corey Anderson UFC (@CoreyA_MMA) February 26, 2019
Conor helping his boy.
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Quite the game of human chess today, with a young modern day jiu jitsu master attacker of limbs, Dillon Danis. The Bison. I’ve never known a 200lb Bison to attack limbs so constant and so proficient. He is built like a Bison yet moves like a snake. A highly difficult and dangerous puzzle for any man, of any weight. Modern day jiu jitsu is a fascinating game to me. A lot of people like to talk with bitterness towards my friend young Dillon here, but this man is a Jiu jitsu world champion. Modern day. He also made his successful MMA debut with one of the nastiest and craftiest toe holds you will ever see in the game. The complete grimace on his opponents face as he had his entire foot and ankle tore to shreds before him. The way jiu jitsu is in this modern age, is wild to me. And now it is entering Mixed Martial Arts competition. Talk all you want, as you can talk without your limbs. It’s just you can’t do much else. This kid is highly, highly dangerous for anyone on this planet. Thank you for the rounds today brother! Would you like to see the rest of these rounds? Would you like to see the highest grossing grappling event of all time? The worlds most lucrative grappling event ever to take place? Would you like to see us both compete in it? Against highly touted opposition? I am eager to compete again. Life is good.
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My attacking game is still catching up as you can see here. Loose arm drags and over eagerly jumping to hooks and losing position. But I am gaining good traction again. My passing and my overall forward pressure is building nicely. I will keep building. For I am a brick wall. Before I went into my last camp I was doing extensive work in the gi and my attacking game was developing really well. My submissions were becoming a lot more frequent. I was supremely confident in my attacking. I could spend full rounds attached to the back. Through all ranges. Snatching the neck. Breaking posture. Generally mauling anything I touched. For some reason though, I went into camp and focused solely on defense. I trained to disengage. To Anti grapple. To Avoid. I disrespected my own attacking game and became a stranger to it. I allowed outside influence filter into my own thinking. I can pull a dead horse out of a ditch if I latch around it’s head why would I not snatch up the neck? Why would I disengage? Why would I avoid anything? I don’t know what I was thinking back then. But I am thinking clear now. I will not make that mistake again. I am going to literally tear these men apart now. Watch me. One by fucking one.
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Taking that big breath before entering the octagon. I will never take breathing for granted again. I’m out of the hospital and feeling good. I have to stay here till Wednesday before safely flying home to Philly. Thanks again to all the people who made this scary situation seem like a walk in the park! #top10 #illbewatching #waiting
I got good lungs ♂️ https://t.co/1FJt94cL0F— Paul Felder (@felderpaul) February 26, 2019
Brian Ortega is killing it.
All about this #ManCrushMonday, @BrianTcity - the #1 @UFC ranked featherweight ! So grateful he said yes to training with me in preparation for #BruisedTheMovie, and cannot wait to share what we cook up together pic.twitter.com/bPNTggc9SM— Halle Berry (@halleberry) February 25, 2019
Incredible day today spending time with, speaking for and teaching combatives to the fine ladies and gentlemen of the Canadian Armed Forces. Such an honor and pleasure to be able to influence such humble and honorable humans. Thanks for having us Edmonton! @ufc @Cowboycerrone pic.twitter.com/00izmA3Qge— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) February 26, 2019
It’s weird how little dicks I’ve seen in the US, your so private with your private parts! In Norway we just flap around— Emil Valhalla Meek (@emilvalhalla) February 25, 2019
If you listen to the full interview, Bobby Knux talks about how a collapsed bowel is supposed to occur and says it should come from either a surgery or like a major trauma, AKA getting hit by a car, and he hasn’t had either of those. So either Robert Whittaker is a medical marvel, or Yoel Romero literally hits like a truck. I know which one I’m going with.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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