Robert Whittaker was expected to defend his UFC middleweight championship in the headliner of last weekend’s UFC 234 event against Kelvin Gastelum.
Unfortunately for fight fans, Whittaker was removed from the card just hours before the event commenced, this after it was discovered by doctors that he was suffering from a collapsed bowel and intestinal hernia.
With that said, “The Reaper” underwent immediate emergency surgery and three days later was released from hospital.
As for a potential return date, Whittaker’s manager Titus Day told ESPN that he believes Robert will be ready sometime between June and August.
“I’d say he’ll be able to fight next sometime between June and August depending on recovery,” Day said. “Hopefully closer to June.”
With Whittaker on the shelf for the foreseeable future, UFC 234 main event winner Israel Adesanya has requested that the promotion strip “Bobby Knuckles” of his title so that the 185-pound division can ‘move on’.
In a recent interview Robert Whittaker was asked, hypothetically, if the UFC were to say ‘You have to fight by May or else we are stripping you’, how he would respond.
“Umm, I will not be bullied into compromising my health for a fight. That is ridiculous. Because then they could ask me to do anything and I would have to do it. And then the threat would always be there. Its one of those things, as soon as you give a little they take a lot.”
With that said, Robert Whittaker says the UFC, in particular UFC President Dana White, have been very supportive.
“Yea, the UFC have been super supportive. Dana White in particular and the UFC doctors and the UFC have been very supportive about my condition.”
How do you think the UFC should proceed with the middleweight division knowing that Robert Whittaker will be on the shelf until early summer. Should an interim title be created? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!