Robert Whittaker injured, Romero in for interim title shot.

The UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has withdrawn from a scheduled title defence against Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 next month due to an undisclosed injury.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the news in the early hours of this morning.

In what will be a blow to both Whittaker and the UFC, Whittaker was headlining in his adopted country of Australia in his first title defence since being moved up from interim to full champ.

His opponent Luke Rockhold (16-3) will now face Yoel Romero (12-2) for an interim 185-pound championship. UFC officials told ESPN that Whittaker will face the winner in a unification bout.

“I’m beyond disappointed that I’m unable to defend the title in my home country of Australia,” Whittaker stated to ESPN. “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.”

This could prove to a problem for the UFC ticket sales for this event as most fans would have been going to see the first ever Australian based UFC champion. According to ESPN fans will be able to receive a full ticket refund.

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Comments 42

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  13. So its luke vs i yavo you mike guy

  14. Casual…..

  15. I’m so fucking over all these paper belts the UFC has.

  16. Handing interim titles out all over the place these days!

  17. When GSP vacated, they promoted Whitaker to undisputed status.

  18. Shaun Lee you suck

  19. No not a good card at all now

  20. Nick gutted.
    Not bothered watching Roid lad vs zoolander.

  21. Spewing bahaha glad I didn’t get ripped off on tickets now

  22. Christopher Corbett

  23. Interim while the undisputed title is vacant?

  24. Avatar Shaun Lee says:

    Wtf fuck … That sucks

  25. Shaun Lee fuck sake

  26. The lack of any structure to anything in The last 12 months is staggering. Between interim champs and pointless ranking systems on top of expecting the fighters to also be the actual promoters of fights you can’t help but feel there’s a real complacency with WME

  27. Avatar Liam Maher says:

    David Okeeffe ??

  28. Another fucking interim? Just make it a #1 contender fight. WME can fuck off.

  29. Avatar Phil Lewis says:

    Gary Rattray ?

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