Robert Whittaker just can’t catch a break. The former UFC middleweight champion has withdrawn from his fight against Jared Cannonier at UFC 248 on March 7 due to undisclosed personal reasons. ESPN first reported the news.
Whittaker (20-5) has been inactive over the last two years due to injuries. His last fight came in October at UFC 243 where he lost his championship to Israel Adesanya. Prior to the loss “The Reaper” was on a nine-fight winning streak.
The UFC is working on finding a replacement opponent for Cannonier and the hope is that they find another top contender.
Cannonier (13-4) originally fought at heavyweight, but now he’s found a home at middleweight. Since dropping down to 185 pounds, Cannonier has won three in a row. His most recent win came in September when he defeated Jack Hermansson.
UFC 248 will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. A main event hasn’t been announced for the card, but the UFC is hoping to Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero. The co-main event will feature a strawweight championship fight between current champ Weili Zhang and longtime strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk.