Robert Whittaker is on the path to full recovery. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani confirmed through a report that the current UFC middleweight champion has been released from the hospital on Tuesday, following successful surgery.
Whittaker was forced out of his scheduled title defense against Kelvin Gastelum 24 hours before fight night after suffering from an internal hernia and a collapsed bowel. His manager Titus Day also spoke to ESPN, noting that Whittaker is “still in a considerable amount of pain”, but is expected to return within the next six months.
”I’d say he’ll be able to fight next sometime between June and August depending on recovery. Hopefully closer to June,” Day said.
Whittaker’s sudden pull out did not sit well with top middleweight contenders like Gastelum and Israel Adesanya. Gastelum declared himself champion after the news broke and went on to parade around the arena with the UFC belt on his shoulder, which he received flak for.
Adesanya, meanwhile, has called for Whittaker to be stripped of the title, comparing the situation with that of Dominick Cruz, who had also been forced to give up championship status in the past due to recurring injuries.