Robert Whittaker won’t be making his scheduled return at UFC 248. According to multiple reports, the former UFC middleweight champion pulled out of his fight against Jared Cannonier due “undisclosed personal reasons.”
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani first reported the news, which was later confirmed by MMA Fighting.
Robert Whittaker is out his March 7 UFC 248 fight against Jared Cannonier due to undisclosed personal reasons, sources say. UFC efforting to keep Cannonier on the card but no opponent locked in yet, I’m told.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 15, 2020
In a statement he released to ESPN, “The Reaper” sent out his apologies to friends, fans, and to his opponent.
“Apologies to all my friends and supporters, but unfortunately I won’t be competing on the UFC 248 fight card,” the statement reads. “There are a few other things going on in my life that I need to give priority to 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.”
UFC president Dana White recently went on record saying Darren Till’s next fight would either be in London or Vegas against “one of the top guys.” With these recent developments, it won’t be a surprise to see “The Gorilla” as the replacement opponent.
UFC 248 takes place on March 8th at the T-Mobile Arena. The card is headlined by a women’s strawweight title fight between Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.