UFC 248 has taken a hit as former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has pulled out of the card.

Whittaker was scheduled to face Jared Cannonier at UFC 248 on March 7 in what would have been his first bout since losing his middleweight title to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 last October.

However, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported Wednesday that he is pulling out for undisclosed personal reasons. He adds that the UFC is trying to keep Cannonier on the card, though, there is no opponent locked in as of yet:

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“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.”

This will be the third fight since the start of 2018 that Whittaker has pulled out of. The previous two were due to injury. As reported by Helwani, the reasons for this pullout is undisclosed.

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Many on social media responded by calling for Darren Till to step in for Whittaker. Till enjoyed a successful middleweight debut when he outpointed Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244 in November.

A potential win over the red-hot Cannonier would ideally all but guarantee him of the next title shot.

What do you make of Whittaker pulling out of another fight? Who do you want to replace him?

Experienced freelance sports writer covering mixed martial arts (MMA) extensively for the last few years. Likes a good body shot.