Robert Whittaker posts video statement from hospital after UFC 234 withdrawal

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is recovering from surgery to repair a collapsed bowel after his withdrawal from UFC 234.

Whittaker (20-4 MMA, 11-2 UFC) was forced to pull out of his scheduled title defense against Kelvin Gastelum (16-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) just hours before Saturday’s event at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, was scheduled to begin.

The champion was rushed into “emergency surgery” to repair an abdominal issue after he started experiencing symptoms overnight. He was reportedly under the knife for more than three hours, and UFC President Dana White as well as Whittaker’s team claimed the situation could’ve become fatal had “The Reaper” fought.

Whittaker, who appears to be in relatively good spirits, confirmed as much in a video statement from his hospital bed (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

“Let me say that I’m sorry to all my friends and family and fans that came out to watch me perform. But unfortunately I couldn’t be there. I tried my best to try and swing it. I was fighting the doctors all the way up until they said, ‘You have to get surgery or you’re going to lose part of your bowel.’ Or it could be potentially fatal. I had to look at my health first — I’m sorry, guys.”

“I’m sorry to Gastelum cause he came out here, prepped, and came a long way and I couldn’t give him a show.”

“You guys know what it takes to keep me from the octagon. So for you guys to be behind me and supporting me and sending me your love like that, it means a lot to me. It really does. And it makes it easier for me to try even harder next time, to get in there and to put my soul on bare and put on a good show for you guys.”

“I’ll be back better than ever. This is one obstacle that I’ve jumped. It’s not going to keep me down forever. I’m going to be back — better than ever.”

One thing Whittaker did not speak about during his statement was a potential timeline for his return to the octagon. Naturally he would like to return to action as soon as possible, but whether the four-to-six week timeline mentioned by UFC boss White is accurate or not, remains to be seen.

For complete coverage of UFC 234, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

6 months ago

Your Ad could be here please email () us for the details.

email us »


Latest news in MMA

Urijah Faber ponders Henry Cejudo's callout: 'Does he really want some?'
36 minutes ago
What’s next for the stars of UFC 241?
41 minutes ago
Bellator 225: Make your predictions for Matt Mitrione vs. Sergei Kharitonov
1 hour ago
Anthony Smith believes he would get a rematch against Jon Jones right now if he was healthy
1 hour ago
Accuser of Jon Jones speaks out: ‘This person gets away with everything’
2 hours ago
Khabib Nurmagomedov sends heartfelt message to Daniel Cormier following UFC 241 loss
2 hours ago
Kyung Ho Kang wants on UFC on ESPN+ 23 in his South Korea hometown after UFC 241 win
2 hours ago
Bellator's Rudy Schaffroth didn't want to fight ex-teammate Tyrell Fortune
3 hours ago
Brandon Royval, Jerome Rivera rematch for flyweight title in LFA 78 main event
3 hours ago
Paulo Costa “might kill” Israel Adesanya following “Dinosaur Arms” comment
13 hours ago
Anthony Pettis suffers broken foot in UFC 241 loss to Nate Diaz
13 hours ago
After knocking out close friend at UFC 241, Khama Worthy wants to fight ... Conor McGregor?
14 hours ago
After UFC 241 knockout, Sodiq Yusuff wants a home fight in Washington, D.C.
15 hours ago
Joe Rogan dubs Nate Diaz the most under appreciated super star on the UFC roster
15 hours ago
Joe Rogan on Yoel Romero: “The man is made out of some other worldly material”
15 hours ago
WATCH | Kyoji Horiguchi gets shockingly knocked out in 68 seconds at RIZIN 18
16 hours ago
Joe Rogan explains why he interviewed Daniel Cormier following KO loss at UFC 241
16 hours ago
Daniel Cormier noncommittal on future after 'insane' title loss at UFC 241
16 hours ago
Joe Rogan explains decision to interview Daniel Cormier following TKO loss at UFC 241
16 hours ago
Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Stipe Miocic and UFC 241's key winning fighters?
17 hours ago