A highly anticipated middleweight division encounter between former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier at UFC 248 is going to have to wait as Whittaker has been pulled from the card.
Ariel Helwani of ESPN first reported the news, although an exact reason as to why Whittaker was pulled from the card isn’t known at this time. Cannonier is expected to remain on the UFC 248 card at this time, as UFC officials are seeking a replacement opponent for him to face.
Cannonier (13-4-0) enters the contest while in the midst of a three fight winning streak, having defeated David Branch, Anderson Silva and Jack Hermansson. Cannonier has competed at three different weight classes in the UFC, earning an overall record of 6-4-0 in the promotion. Cannonier has picked up thirteen wins as a professional MMA fighter and nine of them have come by way of KO/TKO.
Shortly after the news was revealed, a statement would be issued by Whittaker on Instagram:
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.
UFC 248 takes place on Saturday, March 7 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with no main event announced at this time. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.