Marquee man Robert Whittaker pulls out of UFC's WA debut event

Ross Houston
January 13, 2018

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker's homecoming fight in Australia is not going to happen. Whittaker's interim tag was removed and he was promoted to undisputed champion in December after Georges St-Pierre vacated the middleweight title he won when he submitted Michael Bisping at UFC 217 in November.

ESPN reports that Whittaker will have to wait a little longer for the chance, as he's pulled himself from the fight against Luke Rockhold due to an undisclosed injury. Whittaker headlining an event in his home country of Australia had all the hype in the world.

Robert Whittaker fights Cuban Yoel Romero

"I would like to apologize to all my supporters and fans of MMA for not being able to put on the show you deserve", he wrote on Instagram. This card meant so much to me and I'm devastated for not being able to fight.

Fans will be able to request full refunds of purchased tickets for UFC 221, scheduled for February 11 at Perth Arena.

He will now face the victor of Romero versus Rockhold in a unification bout, with all customers who purchased tickets for UFC 221 eligible for a refund. "All the best to Yoel and Luke for their fight and ill be waiting..."

Romero was originally set to face David Branch at UFC Orlando on February 24, that fight has since been canceled and it unsure as of yet if Branch will receive a replacement opponent, or if he will be removed from that card.

Whittaker's injury with a new interim title being introduced is just the latest saga affecting the middleweight division.

Rockhold (16-3-0) is a former UFC Middleweight Champion, defeating Chris Weidman by fourth round TKO at UFC 194 to become champ.

It is a major blow for the event as the UFC take their first trip to Western Australia after the state recently had a ban on the cage lifted for MMA events.

Other reports by iNewsToday