UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was scheduled to defend his title against Kelvin Gastelum on Sunday in Melbourne, Australia, but just hours before the event, the 185-pound titleholder was forced to pull out of the main event in his home country due to a hernia. Whittaker has provided an update on his condition and, well, you can see why the champ was absolutely unable to compete inside the Octagon. 

In a post on his Instagram account, Whittaker revealed that he had underwent a surgical procedure to not only fix a hernia that had formed, but a collapsed bowel as well. He also offered an apology to everyone for missing out on what would have been his first official defense as the undisputed middleweight champion. 

“I wanted to give you all an update on how I’m doing,” Whittaker said. “I’m still in the hospital. I had to get emergency surgery on Sunday because I had a collapsed bowel and an internal hernia that was causing me all sorts of problems.

“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 the whole 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.”

Quite frankly, that’s a bit terrifying. Whittaker took a lot of heat from fans on Twitter for pulling out of his title defense, but had he stepped inside the cage somehow, we could have had an unfortunate incident on our hands. 

Hopefully the champ is on his way to a speedy recovery so we can have the first official defense of the middleweight title since November 2017 when Georges St-Pierre defeated Michael Bisping. 

More UFC news, rumors

  • UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier retiring in March upon his 40th birthday is a plan that we’ve trained ourselves to adhere to. Well, as with many things in life … plans change. During an appearance on “The MMA Hour” on Monday, Cormier said that he will not be retiring by the time he turns 40 soon. Currently dealing with a back injury he sustained while sneezing in New York, Cormier also revealed that if he has three fights in him, and he’d like those to be against Brock Lesnar, former champ Stipe Miocic and a trilogy bout with Jon Jones at 205 pounds. 
  • Israel Adesanya impressed a lot of people during his thrilling unanimous decision win over the legendary Anderson Silva on Sunday in the UFC 234 main event. One person he did not impress, however, was former champ and the man who’s defeated Silva twice — Chris Weidman. On Twitter, Weidman made it known that he believes the talented Adesanya might be just a bit overrated in his head. 
  • Three-division champion Amanda Nunes? She seems to be hinting at the idea. In an interview with ESPN Brasil, the reigning UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight champ expressed that, with time, she may be up for the challenge. Keep in mind, Nunes has already defeated current women’s flyweight titleholder Valentina Shevchenko via split decision at UFC 215 in Sept. 2017. 

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