Citing personal reasons, former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has withdrawn from March’s UFC 248.
Robert Whittaker has pulled out of his fight against Jared Cannonier at UFC 248. ESPN was first to break the news Wednesday — and Whittaker has subsequently issued a statement addressing the news.
“Apologies to all my friends and supporters but unfortunately I won’t be competing on the UFC 248 fight card,” Whittaker wrote in a statement posted to the UFC’s official Twitter account for Australia and New Zealand. “There are a few other things going on in my life that I need to give priority and sort out, so I have had to change my plans. But I’ll be back soon, bigger and better than ever!”
“Sorry Jared… I’ll see you down the track,” he added.
Whittaker (20-5) did not divulge the nature of what exactly is going on in his life that needed immediate attention. However it’s impossible to ignore the horrific devastation from the ongoing fires in Australia. Though born in New Zealand, Whittaker resides in Sydney, Australia.
The former UFC middleweight champion, an Ultimate Fighter winner, lost the belt to Israel Adesanya back in October at UFC 243. Prior to that defeat, ‘The Reaper’ had won nine straight fights inside the octagon.
UFC 248 takes place March 7, 2020 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.