Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has been off the radar for the last several months since pulling out of his scheduled bout with Jarred Cannonier at UFC 248.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph’s Nick Walshaw, Whittaker explained the reason for his absence was due to being burnt out from constant training over the past several years.

“I sacrificed everything, my team suggested several plans which I took to and because it worked I just kept at it. But you can’t keep doing that forever. You just can’t. I just wasn’t home”.

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“And every time I missed an event or had to leave early, whenever I trained through Easter or ran Wanda Dunes on another Christmas Day, each one became like suffering a knock”.

Whittaker shared that it was on Christmas day after running Wanda Dunes he decided he needed to take some time off.

“I was completely burnt out, and walking back to the car afterwards I told myself that what I was doing, it wasn’t normal. So after arriving home I got straight on the phone to my team, who had been at Wanda with me, and said ‘everything is paused until I work out how to stop feeling this way’”.

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During his absence rumours started to circulate regarding donating bone marrow for his daughter to which Whittaker shut down.

“I have no idea where that came from. During the break, I got off all social media to spend time with family so it was my old man who actually contacted me, explaining there was this crazy rumour going around”.

“My kids are all fine, they are fine. It was me who had the issue”.

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At this stage there is no set date or opponent for Whitaker’s return, however, Darren Till had been eyeing off a match against the former champion taking to social media regularly to taunt him.

Who would you like to see Whittaker face upon his return?