Robert Whittaker Reportedly Pulled Out Of UFC 248 To Donate Bone Marrow To His Sick Daughter
Former UFC champion Robert Whittaker has pulled out of one of the biggest fights of his career to donate bone marrow to his sick daughter, according to reports.
The 29-year-old, who lost his middleweight belt to Israel Adesanya in October, was due to come up against Jared Cannonier at UFC 248.
But Whittaker announced last week that he would not be taking part in the main event because of personal issues.
"I'm sorry to all my friends, supporters and family for not being able to fight in March." he said on his official Instagram page.
"A lot has happened over the 13 last month's and I need to take some time now to be with my family, slow things down and refocus. Sorry to everyone again but I'll be back. The best is yet to come."
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I'm sorry to all my friends, supporters and family for not being able to fight in March. A lot has happened over the 12 last months and I need to take some time now to be with my family, slow things down and to refocus. Sorry to everyone again but I'll be back. The best is yet to come.
Days after Whittaker posted the above statement, it has now been reported by several outlets, including The Daily Mail, that he cancelled the fight to donate bone marrow to his one-year-old daughter Lilliana, who has fallen sick.
UFC president Dana White did not discuss the reports in a recent interview with Submission Radio, but he did say Whittaker's decision was "one of the most selfless things" he's ever seen.
"That's personal for Whittaker. If Whittaker wants to talk about that, he can.
"But I'll tell you this, when you talk about somebody whose priorities are in the right place, who is completely selfless and down to the core a good human being, that's Robert Whittaker.
"The reason Robert Whittaker is not fighting in this fight is one of the most unselfish things I've seen in my life.
"He's a good man, he's a good human being, and I have a lot of respect for him. Good luck to him in what he's dealing with right now.
"I can't put into words and articulate how I feel about Robert Whittaker. He's the real deal, man."
Whittaker said: "Apologies to all my friends and supporters but unfortunately I won't be competing on the UFC 248 fight card.
"There are a few other things going on in my life that I need to give priority to and sort out, so I have had to change my plans.
"But I'll be back soon, bigger and better than ever."
Featured Image Credit: Sofia And Robert Whittaker/Instagram