Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has been removed from his scheduled March 7 fight with 185-pound contender Jared Cannonier, per a report by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
He states that the 29-year-old will no longer compete on the card due to “undisclosed personal reasons” and UFC officials are working to keep Cannonier on the card, but no opponent has been identified as yet.
Whittaker was due to compete for the first time since losing his title to Israel Adesanya last October, ending a more than two year tenure as champion in which he competed just three times owing to a series of injuries. His bout with Cannonier would likely have propelled the winner immediately into title contention for the winner of the proposed middleweight title fight between champion Adesanya and Yoel Romero.
Robert Whittaker is out his March 7 UFC 248 fight against Jared Cannonier due to undisclosed personal reasons, sources say. UFC efforting to keep Cannonier on the card but no opponent locked in yet, I’m told.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 15, 2020
One name which has already shown up in comments sections (such as those in the tweet embedded above) is that of Darren Till, who is currently without an opponent following his debut 185-pound victory against Kelvin Gastelum last year. He had been speculated to face Jack Hermansson in either Las Vegas or London in March, but in a recent interview with The Mac Life Dana White ruled out the Swede as a potential opponent.
Cannonier will have no shortage of names calling for a fight with him. Will the Liverpudlian with a fondness for Instagram callouts get in on the act?