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Robert Whittaker breaks unwanted UFC record as longest champ without a title defense

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Robert Whittaker is now the longest reigning UFC champion without a title defense.

MMA: UFC 225-Whittaker vs Romero Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Since being promoted from interim champ to official UFC middleweight champion after Georges St-Pierre voluntarily relinquished the title in 2017, Robert Whittaker hasn’t actually defended his belt.

‘The Reaper’ did go on to beat Yoel Romero in a Fight of the Year (2018) epic at UFC 225, but that didn’t count as an official title defense due to ‘Soldier of God’ missing weight.

Couple that with a string of injuries and illnesses that have led to fight cancellations and general inactivity inside the Octagon and Whittaker is now officially the longest-reigning champion without a title defense to his name, breaking an unwanted UFC record formerly held by ex-featherweight and lightweight champ Conor McGregor.

Fansided reports that Whitaker has gone a whopping 512 days — that’s almost two years — without defending his middleweight title, but The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes winner will look break that streak when he takes on Israel Adesanya in a proposed title unification bout later this year.

No date or venue has been announced for the bout, but Whittaker wants to fight ‘The Last Stylebender’ on the same pay-per-view as Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier, preferably in his hometown of Sydney, Australia.

Adesanya became interim champ when he beat Kelvin Gastelum in a five-round war at UFC 236, and the former kickboxing champ has frequently criticized Whittaker for his inactivity as champion.