Former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has been forced out of his upcoming fight against Jared Cannonier at UFC 248.
Sources close to the situation confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Wednesday following an initial report from ESPN.
At this time, there’s no word on why Whittaker was forced to pull out of the fight, but he will now have to wait until a later date as he attempts to get back in the win column after losing his middleweight title to Israel Adesanya last year.
There is hope that a suitable replacement will be found to face Cannonier on the March 7 card scheduled for Las Vegas, but no opponent has been determined at this time.
UFC president Dana White recently hinted at former title contender Darren Till getting a top-ranked opponent for his next fight, so it’s possible he might get the call on short notice.
Cannonier is currently riding a three-fight winning streak in the division, with all three victories coming by way of knockout or TKO. His most recent win came in a dominant performance over Jack Hermansson where he positioned himself as a potential title contender in 2020.
UFC 248 is still without a main event as well, although a strawweight title fight between champion Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk has been booked for the card.