Here’s something you probably don’t want your name involved with as a UFC champion. According to a report from Fansided, UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has surpassed Conor McGregor in the UFC record books for longest streak without defending your title at 513 days.
Of course, this isn’t entirely Whittaker’s fault. “Bobby Knuckles” captured an interim UFC middleweight title back in July of 2017 when he defeated Yoel Romero via unanimous decision. However, when Georges St-Pierre decided to vacate his middleweight crown, Whittaker was promoted to undisputed champion.
A rematch with Romero was scheduled, in what would’ve been Whittaker’s first-ever title defense. But when Romero failed to make championship weight for the fight, the contest was changed to a non-title bout. Although Whittaker emerged victorious by way of a split decision, the victory did not count as a title defense.
Whittaker attempted to make his first career title defense against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234 this past February. Unfortunately, Whittaker suffered an abdominal hernia and collapsed bowel. He was forced to withdraw from the contest the morning of the event. Now, with Israel Adesanya as the interim middleweight champion, Whittaker will unify his title with the Nigerian striker down the road.
If that fight comes to fruition, it will be Whittaker’s first title defense since capturing gold back in 2017.
What do you think about Whittaker passing McGregor for most days without a title defense?