Dana White: Robert Whittaker in 'serious condition' after contracting staph infection

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker recently announced that he was being forced to pull out of his title defense against Luke Rockhold at the upcoming UFC 221 event in Australia due to an undisclosed injury. That injury has since been disclosed, and it's one that's a little more serious than most had probably imagined. 

Following UFC 220 on Saturday night in Boston, UFC president Dana White told TSN that the middleweight champion has been dealing with a mistreated staph infection in his stomach. As he tries to get back to better health, Whittaker is in "serious condition" at the moment. 

"He had staph infection in his stomach," White said. "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." 

This is one instance where you absolutely can't speculate on a potential return timetable for Whittaker because while some injuries are easy to get a read on, a staph infection -- especially one in the stomach -- is handled with the most extreme care. As White stated Saturday night, this is a life-threatening issue Whittaker is trying to bounce back from, so it may take a while before we hopefully see the champ back in the Octagon fighting once again. 

With Whittaker having to pull out of UFC 221 on Feb. 11, the man he won the interim belt over last year, Yoel Romero, will step in and take his place against Rockhold.

For a full breakdown of UFC 220, click here.

Jack joined CBS Sports in 2018 as an editor and writer covering college football, combat sports and golf. He was raised to love the New York Yankees unconditionally since birth and firmly believes a four-team... Full Bio

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