Robert Whittaker Reacts To Untimely UFC 221 Withdrawal

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Robert Whittaker
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has been forced to withdraw from his first title defense against Luke Rockhold at UFC 221.

The reason is due to an undisclosed injury. Now, the promotion has announced that an interim title bout between top contenders Rockhold and Yoel Romero will take place at the upcoming pay-per-view event.

Whittaker sent out the following statement on his official Instagram account:

“I would like to apologize to all my supporters and fans of MMA for not being able to put on the show you deserve. I’ve been ruled medically unable to compete and wont be able to defend on home soil.

This card meant so much to me and I’m devastated for not being able to fight. All I can do is focus on getting healthy to come back better than ever. All the best to Yoel and Luke for their fight and ill be waiting…”

UFC 221 is set to take place on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia.

The main card will air on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET while the preliminary card will air on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET and the promotion’s streaming service, UFC Fight Pass.