Former UFC Champion Robert Whittaker Says Retirement Was Possible If He Lost His Spark

Robert Whittaker
Robert Whittaker (Photo: Fernando Quiles Jr./MMA News)

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker admits he would’ve considered retiring had he lost motivation during his time off.

Whittaker is set to return to action on July 25. He’ll collide with Darren Till in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It’ll be his first bout since losing the UFC middleweight championship to Israel Adesanya back in Oct. 2019.

Robert Whittaker Admits He Could’ve Entertained Retirement

Whittaker appeared on Submission Radio ahead of his showdown with Till. “The Reaper” admitted that during his time off he probably would’ve considered retirement if he felt the desire to compete again waned (h/t BJPenn.com).

It’s not one of the things where I was like, ‘I think I’m gonna retire,’” Whittaker said. “That wasn’t a thought in my head. It was more so, I knew that if during my break, if I didn’t find that spark, I would have to hang up the gloves. And like, I had to be cool with that possibility, because the whole thing going into my break was not having any sort of preconceived notion on what I was gonna do, on how it was going to end and what I was going to do afterwards, after the break.”

Whittaker will be looking for his first win since June 2018. He defeated Yoel Romero in a rematch. While Whittaker was a champion at this time, the bout wasn’t considered a successful title defense as Romero didn’t make weight for the fight.

Till may prove to be a worthy foe for Whittaker. “The Gorilla” is looking to capitalize on his split decision victory over Kelvin Gastelum back in Nov. 2019. It was Till’s first bout at middleweight under the UFC banner. He had prior experience at 185 pounds on the regional circuit.

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