UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker released a video update on his social media from his hospital bed after undergoing emergency surgery for a hernia over the weekend.
Whittaker was slated to defend his title against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234 in Melbourne on Saturday night but was forced to withdraw to undergo surgery for a “collapsed bowel and internal hernia.” Sherdog reports the ailment could have been fatal had he stepped into the Octagon with the ailment.
As a result, Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva headlined the UFC 234 card, with Adesanya winning via unanimous decision.
In Saturday’s post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White stated Whittaker could return in as soon as four to six weeks. Whittaker didn’t provide a timetable for his return in his statement.
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Hey guys ! Still kicking. 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 last fought at UFC 225 in June of last year when he won via split decision over Yoel Romero. The bout was non-title due to Romero missing weight.