Robert Whittaker Injured & Off UFC 221, Interim Champion To Be Crowned

Marquee man Robert Whittaker pulls out of UFC's WA debut event

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker's homecoming fight in Australia is not going to happen. It is unknown at this stage what the injury is.

"I'm beyond disappointed that I'm unable to defend the title in my home country of Australia", Whittaker stated. The new main event at UFC 221 will still have championship gold resting in the balance as Rockhold vs. Romero will fight for an interim strap with the victor facing Whittaker in a unification bout later in 2018.

With Rockhold Vs Romero established as the new main event, UFC 221 proceeds with a card that will also feature Mark Hunt Vs Curtis Blaydes in the co-main event slot. Yoel Romero has been named as his replacement.

New Zealand-born UFC middleweight champion and headline act Robert Whittaker has apologised to his fans after being forced to withdraw from Perth's UFC blockbuster in February.

Whittaker, 27, tried to remain on the event but was ruled medically unable to compete by physicians.

He will now face the victor of Romero versus Rockhold in a unification bout, with all customers who purchased tickets for UFC 221 eligible for a refund.

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James Averis is a Sydney based contributor for Fight News Australia.

"I would like to apologize to all my supporters and fans of MMA for not being able to put on the show you deserve".

In the short term, despite being well-tailored to the local audience, UFC 221 was a one-fight card for the rest of the world. All I can do is focus on getting healthy to come back better than ever.

Tickets have already gone on sale for the UFC on Fox event in Orlando without the announcement of the main event, and now the loss of this marquee fight. It was the former champ's first fight since losing his middleweight belt to Bisping at UFC 199 in June of 2016.

The 33-year-old former champion is coming off a TKO win over David Branch in September.

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