Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is officially off of UFC 284.
For its return to Australia, the UFC announced Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa as one of the featured fights for the upcoming pay-per-view on Feb. 11 at RAC Arena in Perth. However, the announcement was premature, according to Costa, who continued to say he had yet to sign a contract.
On Monday, it was reported that Whittaker vs. Costa was officially canceled, as the UFC and ‘Borrachinha’ had failed to come to terms on a new contract. Without an opponent, the ‘Reaper’ is no longer fighting on UFC 284.
“I’m sure you’ve seen the media and the rumors going around right now about the Perth card and it’s upsetting to say — very upsetting to say — they’re true,” said Whittaker in a video shared on Twitter. “The fight with Costa has fallen apart. UFC tried everything in their power to get him to the fight. They gave him the new contract, from what I understand, to take the fight and he still didn’t take the fight. So yeah, the Perth fight is not happening. They’re looking to reschedule me March [or] April. This is very upsetting.
— Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) December 19, 2022
“I’m sorry to all the friends, fans, and family that are heading over there to watch me do work, but yeah, it’s out of my hands,” continued Whittaker. “I’m upset. I was prepared to train through Christmas, to train through New Year’s, to put in the work. We’re already so deep into my camp. Everyone knows that I train. My camps are quite long. I’m already so deep into my camp and work and I want to take the family out and go on holiday after the fight. I wanted to buy the kids some new toys, earn some money, you know, pay the rent. Yeah, all that is put on the back burner for now. All of that has been pushed back. It’s upsetting for me.”
Though he has no specific date or opponent, Whittaker expects to train for whenever and whoever the UFC finds for him.
“I’m just going to train, I’m going to train my hardest, I’m going to train like a demon and just take out my frustrations on the next guy,” said Whittaker. “Whoever they put in front of me. In that first quarter, I’m going to get in there and then do my work.”
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