Robert Whittaker was forced to withdraw from his UFC 234 headlining title fight at the weekend, and with very good reason as it later emerged that he had been suffering from a collapsed bowel and internal hernia.
“Hey guys ! Still kicking,” Whittaker wrote on Instagram. “I’m sorry to all my friends, fans and family for not being able to get in there Sunday. Apparently if you get emergency surgeries you can’t be cleared to fight. Thanks for the overwhelming support from all my fans I am so blessed to know you guys have my back. A big thanks to my team mates @fabricioitte @alexprates07 @standstrongboxingcoachjustin @justinlang_ep @titusday77 and all the others from behind the scenes you guys were there from start to finish worrying and prioritizing my health above all. Lastly to @danawhite and @ufc for the immediate help and support throughout the process of testing and the emergency surgeries. I am blessed I found out when I did and avoided life long consequences. I’ll be back better than ever.”
Whittaker also issued a video in which he explained more of the details surrounding his last minute fight cancellation.
“Let me say that I’m sorry to all my friends and family and fans that came out to watch me perform,” Whittaker said. “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’ve gotta get surgery or you’re gonna lose part of your bowel.’ Or it could be potentially fatal. I had to look at my health first — I’m sorry, guys.”
Whittaker’s woes started after the weigh-ins, revealing that he kept throwing up every time he tried to eat or drink afterwards, which eventually led to him being rushed to hospital, but he’s now hoping to put that all behind him and continue with his career.
“I’ll be back better than ever,” Whittaker said. “This is one obstacle that I’ve jumped. It’s not gonna keep me down forever. I’m gonna be back — better than ever.”