Morning Report: Robert Whittaker releases a statement on his withdrawal from UFC 248 bout against Jared Cannonier

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Earlier this week, news broke that champion Robert Whittaker was out of his fight at UFC 248 against Jared Cannonier due to undisclosed reasons. And while we still don’t know exactly why Whittaker pulled out from the bout, the former middleweight champion released a statement on his withdrawal Thursday.

Taking to Instagram, the usually cheerful Whittaker posted a somewhat somber message, saying that a lot has happened in the last year and that he needs to take a step back to spend time with his family right now.

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I’m sorry to all my friends, supporters and family for not being able to fight in March. A lot has happened over the 12 last months and I need to take some time now to be with my family, slow things down and to refocus. Sorry to everyone again but I’ll be back. The best is yet to come.

A post shared by Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) on

“I’m sorry to all my friends, supporters and family for not being able to fight in March. A lot has happened over the 12 last months and I need to take some time now to be with my family, slow things down and to refocus. Sorry to everyone again but I’ll be back. The best is yet to come.”

This now marks the third straight year that Whittaker has been forced out of a fight, with Whittaker having withdrawn from title defenses in both 2018 and 2019 due to injury. This fight was to be Whittaker’s first since losing his UFC middleweight title to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 and a win would have put the former champion right back into title contention. Now it sounds like Whittaker may not be back for some time, and if that’s the case, it’s a very unfortunate turn for the man affectionately dubbed “Bobby Knuckles”. Especially since UFC President Dana White recently announced that Israel Adesanya will be defending his middleweight title against Yoel Romero as the main even of UFC 248.

The world of MMA stands still for no one, particularly former champions and will this sudden layoff happening for Whittaker, he may soon find himself on the outside looking in at the middleweight title picture.


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VIDEO STEW

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Embedded.

Anatomy of UFC 246.

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LISTEN UP

UFC Unfiltered. Interviews with Maycee Barber, Clark Gregg, and Anthony Pettis.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

The UFC 246 PPV opener.

Nate chimes in.

Izzy throwing shade.

Horrible beef.

Classic Tony.

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“Cucuys Cooldown” Extra Credit After A Breakthrough Sesh # ModestTestOfStrength -CSO- SnapJitsu™️ Have A Great Day Crew Champ

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Chase Hooper pranking Masvidal is genuinely incredible.

Roxy.

Belal Muhammad with the impressions.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Bruno Silva (11-4-1) vs. Su Mudaerji (12-4); UFC Brasilia, March 14.


FINAL THOUGHTS

It’s finally fight week again! It’s been a damn long time since the UFC was in action and it’s exciting to have something on Saturday night again. I hope y’all enjoy the fights and see everyone on Monday.


EXIT POLL


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