Robert Whittaker was expected to make his return to the Octagon for the first time since losing his belt at UFC 248 against Jared Cannonier. Yet, the fight won’t happen as “The Reaper” had to pull out due to personal reasons.
There was no much known, other than a short statement that was released by the former champion.
“I’m sorry to all my friends, supporters and family for not being able to fight in March. A lot has happened over the 13 last month’s and I need to take some time now to be with my family, slow things down and refocus.” Whittaker wrote on Instagram. “Sorry to everyone again but I’ll be back. The best is yet to come.”
Although no one knew what the issues were, UFC president, Dana White discussed Whittaker pulling out to Submission Radio where he got emotional doing so.
“Let me put it to you this way,” White said when asked why Whittaker withdrew from UFC 248 (via BJPENN.com). “That’s personal for Whittaker. If Whittaker wants to talk about that, he can. But, I’ll tell you this, when you talk about somebody whose priorities are in the right place, who is completely selfless and down to the core a good human being, that’s Robert Whittaker.
“The reason Robert Whittaker is not fighting in this fight is one of the most unselfish things I’ve seen in my life. He’s a good man, he’s a good human being, and I have a lot of respect for him. Good luck to him in what he’s dealing with right now. I can’t put into words and articulate how I feel about Robert Whittaker. He’s the real deal, man.”
It no doubt has to be serious by the way Dana White talked about it. He also says he isn’t sure when Robert Whittaker will be able to fight again. But, he hopes all the best for him during this difficult time.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime