Robert Whittaker did not donate bone marrow to his sick daughter earlier this year. In fact, his daughter is perfectly fine. It was Whittaker who was suffering — both mentally and physically — after his knockout loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243, and ‘The Reaper’ knew he needed to make a change.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph in a recent interview Whittaker, who withdrew from his middleweight bout with Jared Cannonier at UFC 248, revealed that he had suffered a burnout while climbing up the Wanda dunes on Christmas day and that he came to a sudden realization: His training was making him sick.
“I just stopped,” Whittaker said. “Then (I) stood there, asking, ‘What the (expletive) am I doing?’ It was Christmas Day. My family was somewhere else. That moment, it’s when everything crashed.”
“I sacrificed everything. My team suggested several plans which I took to and, because it worked, I just kept at it. But you can’t keep doing that forever, you just can’t. Worse than the physical grind, too, was the mental drain. I just wasn’t home.”
“I was completely burnt out.”
Speaking of his crushing loss to Adesanya, Whittaker says he wasn’t prepared to fight and knew he could have performed better on the night.
“I just wasn’t myself,” he said. “That’s the game though, you rock up and fight, but I know I can perform much better, and have performed much better.”
The former UFC middleweight champ has changed his team is and no longer pushing himself to the point of exhaustion every day and, although he will soon be making a comeback, Whittaker is currently focused on spending more with his family.
“Not having those sessions, it means I can do things Saturday night too,” Whittaker said. “Same as I’m now playing with the kids late into Sunday afternoon rather than being completely spent. The changes I’ve made, it really will change my life. Not training to exhaustion every day, I guess you can say I’m living.”
To read Whittaker’s full interview with The Daily Telegraph, click here.