UFC champion Whittaker withdraws from bout

By Justin Chadwick,

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    Robert Whittaker celebrates after defeating Yoel Romero in a middleweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 213, Saturday, July 8, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

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    Australian middleweight champion and headline act Robert Whittaker has apologised to his fans after being forced to withdraw from Perth’s UFC blockbuster in February.

    Whittaker was scheduled to take on former champion Luke Rockhold in UFC 221 at Perth Arena on February 11.

    But the 27-year-old has been ruled out of his title defence with an undisclosed injury.

    Yoel Romero will take Whittaker’s place in what will now become an interim title bout against Rockhold.

    “I would like to apologise to all my supporters and fans of MMA for not being able to put on the show you deserve,” Whittaker wrote on his Instagram account.

    “I’ve been ruled medically unable to compete and won’t 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 I’ll be waiting.”

    The Perth event is already a sell-out.

    Whittaker became the first undisputed UFC champion from Australia when Canadian Georges St-Pierre vacated the middleweight title.in December.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (3)

    • Roar Guru

      January 14th 2018 @ 8:35pm
      BigJ said | January 14th 2018 @ 8:35pm | ! Report

      Oh that is bulls###!!! Now Ufc 221 is worth diddly squat.

    • January 15th 2018 @ 6:49pm
      shirtpants said | January 15th 2018 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

      Absolutely shattered for him. This card had the potential to really put aussie MMA on the map.

    • Roar Guru

      January 16th 2018 @ 6:05pm
      BigJ said | January 16th 2018 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

      Not now!!!

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