Australia’smiddleweight champion Robert Whittaker will be stepping out of first title defense in his home country. It’s reported that Whittaker is injured for UFC 221.
According to numerous online MMA websites, Whittaker suffered an undisclosed injury and his originally scheduled opponent Luke Rockhold will now take on Cuba’s Yoel Romero for the interim 185-pound belt.
Whittaker is “beyond” disappointed and released a statement of the outcome.
I’m beyond disappointed that I’m unable to defend the title in my home country of Australia. I hope the fans enjoy what should be a great night of fights at UFC 221 and I look forward to a recovery as soon as possible that will have me back in the Octagon to face the winner of the main event.
Romero was initially booked to fight David Branch on Feb. 24 in Orlando, but he will now face Rockhold, a former UFC andmiddleweight champion. Romero hasn’t fought since his loss to Whittaker, while Rockhold recently defeated Branch in September.
UFC 221: Rockhold vs. Romero takes place on February 11th.