Robert Whittaker OK with sitting home, rehabbing and waiting for Bisping-St-Pierre winner

Robert Whittaker aggravated his left knee injury during his interim title fight against Yoel Romero at UFC 213, and he's OK taking his time in rehabbing the strain to allow the UFC's "money fight" between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre. Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Robert Whittaker, the UFC's newly crowned interim middleweight champion, is unlikely to fight again this year.

That's partially due to a strained left knee -- but it's also very much due to the upcoming Michael Bisping-Georges St-Pierre money fight.

Whittaker (19-4) aggravated his knee during an interim title fight victory over Yoel Romero at UFC 213 last month. The 26-year-old is rehabbing the injury back home in Sydney, Australia, but he said it would not have prevented him from facing Bisping before the end of 2017.

Bisping (30-7), however, is expected to face St-Pierre on Nov. 4 in New York. It's a fight both have been asking for all year.

"Yeah, the injury doesn't matter, to be honest," Whittaker told ESPN. "Michael's been bloody harping about that [St-Pierre] fight for how long? The UFC does what it wants. That's just how it is."

When asked if he would have been able to accept a Nov. 4 date against Bisping, Whittaker said it would have been a possibility.

"I would have had to speak to my doctors and coaches, of course, but it's something I would have considered," Whittaker said. "But Michael Bisping versus Georges St-Pierre is a money fight, and the UFC loves money fights."

Nevertheless, Whittaker said he isn't upset. He said he does not believe St-Pierre, a former welterweight champion who hasn't fought since 2013, deserves a title shot at 185-pounds -- which, in a strange way, makes it easier to live with.

In other words, no one is jumping him in line. He's just being asked to step aside for a money fight. And he's not going to waste energy getting annoyed at that.

"Michael Bisping's whole life is a film scene. He's always acting," Whittaker laughed. "Confronting me at UFC 213, it makes me laugh. It's a bit clownish. You can't try to show someone up like that, and then go fight someone else. It just looks stupid.

"Georges isn't even in this division. It's not as if someone in the top 10 is jumping the queue. This is a money fight. That's exactly what it is. It doesn't bother me. People are going to do what they want. I can't get upset if it doesn't work out to my plans, because let's face it, the UFC is a roller coaster."

Despite Whittaker's belief the UFC was always going to book Bisping and St-Pierre, he did confirm he was asked to coach against Bisping on the current season of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series.

Ultimately, a deal didn't come together.

"They approached me right after my fight, but I hadn't seen my kids and family in weeks," Whittaker said. "It's not as if I live two hours away. I live close to 24 hours away. For me to realistically look at that, you need to make it worth my while.

"I would have had to do all my rehab in the States. I would have had to bring my entire family to the States, take my kids out of school. The offer just wasn't enough. I countered with offers, not just financial figures, but a lot of conditions as well, and we just couldn't come to an agreement."

Whittaker estimated his knee will be "100 percent" in eight weeks. And for the record, he's leaning toward Bisping over St-Pierre.

"I think they both have potential to win," Whittaker said. "If I had to lean one side, I think Michael has more than enough of what it takes to beat Georges. Georges isn't from the middleweight division. Michael has been there for a long time."