Robert Whittaker delivered at the UFC 225, and he is set for a big future. But his breathtaking win over Yoel Romero came with a huge cost. Just after the fight, Whittaker had to visit the hospital.
The Australian fighter won what many classify as “the fight of the year”. His win gave him $100,000 bonus for win at the “fight of the night”.
Dana White confirms Robert Whittaker will get the full $100k for "Fight of the Night." That means Yoel Romero has now cost himself $140,000 in bonuses and sponsor pay for missing weight in his past two fights. #UFC225
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) June 10, 2018
To make matters harder for the Australian fighter, he had to fight the final four rounds with a busted right hand. For many, that would be the end of it, but Whittaker decided to push through, and it paid off in the end. At the end, he had no feeling up to this elbow.
An X-ray after the fight confirmed what many thought during the fight, Whittaker damaged his thumb. Carrying an ice pack, he was sent to the hospital almost immediately after leaving octagon.
What the future holds for Whittaker?
While the victory was courageous, the injury is a blow to the career of the young fighter. He has yet to officially defend his middleweight championship, which was forced to pull out of a defense in February. He will be out for some time. And when that happens, he has a bright feature in front of him. Robert Whittaker is just 27 years old, and he showed during the fight with Romero he can absorb some huge shots. Just for comparison, Romero knocked out ex-champion Luke Rockhold in February. That should give you an idea how powerful his punches are.
Robert Whittaker went 10 (TEN!) rounds with Yoel Romero and he stayed conscious. All time great chin.
— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) June 10, 2018
He landed some of those punches against Whittaker, but Robert was determined to stay up. He knew what was coming for him.
– Yoel hits like a truck, and I just had to try and survive and make the comeback, Whittaker said after the fight.
Job done 👊🏽 👊🏽👊🏽 pic.twitter.com/OXOKoc9VMZ
— Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) June 10, 2018
Few have mentioned him as a potential successor to Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey. But the fact is that he has the potential to be the biggest pay-per-view draw, as the UFC has been looking for that fighter they can put on a card and almost guarantee a huge number. Robert Whittaker might be on that path. UFC President Dana White is confident Whitaker possess that talent.
– He’s got a lot of fans in Australia. And if he keeps fighting like he fought tonight, it’s going to go up quick, White said after the match.
His fan-friendly style is tailor made for the UFC, and his refusal to give up will certainly bring him more fans and supporters.
Luck against him
The only potential drawback on Whittaker success is his bad luck. He has had all sorts of bad luck in the past. Last year, he injured his knee in the fight with Romero, and then missed a bout in February when he had to defend his title due to staph infection and then chicken pox. If his broken hand keeps him out of the cage for prolonged period of time, it is going to be a heart breaker. One can definitely see him developing into an elite fighter, and a star, but he needs a bit of luck.
One thing is certain. When he does fight, it is best that you make sure you watch him. He represents everything fans love about MMA.