UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker was forced to withdraw from the main event of UFC 234 after a severe abdominal injury lead to emergency surgery.
Alex Prates serves as Whittaker’s jiu-jitsu coach and he says that Whittaker still wanted to fight at UFC 234, despite the severe injury.
“He had abdominal pain and was finally taken to the hospital by the UFC at 1am and was trying everything to remain in the fight, refusing any treatment that would force him out of the fight,” Prates told MMA Fighting. “He underwent emergency surgery at 4:30am due to a hernia that could affect his intestine.”
Prates says that Whittaker was even trying to delay the surgery so the title bout wouldn’t be delayed.
”F*ck, he didn’t want the surgery, he wanted to fight,” Prates said. “‘Can we do it another day?’ A samurai, wanting to fight no matter what, but there was no negotiation with the medical team. The problem was very serious, and right now all the team is focused on Robert’s health and his recovery.”
There is no word as to when Whittaker is expected to return to action, but it could take the fighter at least four weeks to heal from the surgery.