When Robert Whittaker had to pull out of UFC 234 at an incredibly late hour after being rushed to emergency surgery, most were understanding, sympathetic, and worried for the UFC middleweight champion.
As usual, however, there were a vocal minority online who speculated that a hernia — the thing that derailed Whittaker’s fight — aren’t usually sudden things without activity, and that Whittaker must have had some prior knowledge he could be facing an injury.
According to the champion, that’s stupid. Hell, he says. Just look at the timeline.
“To all the naysayers that said, ‘Ah, he knew he was going to pullout’ — fuck you,” Whittaker said on an episode of his podcast GrangeTV.”To all the naysayers that said, ‘Ah, he knew he was going to pullout’ — fuck you,” Whittaker said. “Why would I cut weight? Why would I cut weight to pull out of a fight? Why wouldn’t I pull out before the weight cut? That doesn’t make sense. I wouldn’t wait until after the cut to pull out of a fight.”
As far as his next step, Whittaker will now go on to meet the winner of Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum, who meet at UFC 236 for the interim world title. But should anyone believe he’s somehow a man who should be known for ducking competition, Whittaker wants to remind you of one thing.
“I’m going to do what’s best for my health and do what I love doing and do what I’m good at doing,” Whittaker said. “But just to put it into perspective, me and Romero went out there for the second time and went another 5 rounds — which makes 50 minutes of brutal fighting. The two best in the world. And we both haven’t stepped back into the Octagon yet. So even if I could fight (at UFC 234), and obviously I couldn’t, but Romero still hasn’t jumped back in there. That’s surely an indication on how much we left it in Chicago. Anyone who’s seen that fight knows we left everything out there. It was a hard fight. Relax.”