Robert Whittaker has broken his silence on his health, albeit barely.
On Sunday evening, the Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight king took to Instagram to post a brief follow-up on his recovery. It was Whittaker’s first social media post since Jan. 13, when it was revealed he had been forced out of his slated UFC 221 title defense on Feb. 10 against former champion Luke Rockhold in Perth, Australia.
“Sick as a dog, but at least my nutrition is on point @musclemealsdirect Thanks for all the well wishes guys #ontheroadtorecovery," Whittaker wrote.
When Whittaker was replaced by Yoel Romero and the promotion announced an interim title bout between Romero and Rockhold, the reasons behind his removal were undisclosed. This past Saturday night following UFC 220 in Boston, UFC President Dana White shared a grim update on “The Reaper’s” condition.
“He had staph infection in his stomach,” White told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter. “From what I understand it wasn’t treated properly and started to eat away at parts of his organs. He’s in serious condition, so it’s going to be a minute before he’s back, I think. Hopefully it turns around quick, but that stuff is life threatening if not treated the right way.”
Whittaker, 27, has put together a 10-2 mark inside the UFC over the last five years. Since back-to-back losses to Court McGee and Stephen Thompson, the New Zealand-born Australian has won eight consecutive bouts, including an undefeated 7-0 record in the Octagon at 185 pounds.
Sherdog’s 2017 “Fighter of the Year,” Whittaker last saw action at UFC 213 last July, where he defeated the aforementioned Romero via unanimous decision to win the UFC interim middleweight title. “The Reaper” was promoted to full champion on Dec. 7 after Georges St. Pierre vacated his title due to colitis.