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UFC champ Robert Whittaker's manager on potential return: 'Hopefully closer to June'

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UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was released from a Melbourne, Australia hospital Tuesday, and now begins his road to recovery.

Whittaker was a day-of withdrawal from his scheduled UFC 234 title fight vs. Kelvin Gastelum this past weekend after being admitted to the hospital in the early morning. He later underwent emergency surgery on a collapsed bowel and internal hernia that could’ve been fatal had he proceeded with the fight.

Whittaker’s manager, Titus Day, told ESPN.com that his client has been released from the hospital but isn’t allowed to travel to his hometown of Sydney until Monday, per doctors orders. Whittaker is still in “considerable pain” and won’t be able to do much more than walk for four to six weeks.

As far his a timetable for when Whittaker could fight again?

“I’d say he’ll be able to fight next sometime between June and August depending on recovery,” Day said. “Hopefully closer to June.”

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Day told ESPN.com that he has yet to talk with the UFC about what’s next for Whittaker, who now has pulled out of two headlining fights in Australia. Although he won a rematch vs. Yoel Romero last year, Whittaker has yet to technically defend his title since being elevated to undisputed champ in late 2017 since Romero missed weight for their second fight.

Gastelum and Israel Adesanya, who beat Anderson Silva at UFC 234, both have been campaigning to be booked against each other for the undisputed title while Whittaker is sidelined.

“Honestly, you know when Dominick Cruz kept hurting himself and got surgery after surgery after surgery? The UFC stripped him, and this is another one of those,” Adesanya told MMAjunkie Radio this week. “This isn’t the first time this has happened or second time with Robert. This is ongoing. He’s hurt, he’s out for much longer, and he’s hurt again, then has a fight and is out for this long. You can’t hold up the whole division. My idea is strip him, take the belt off him, and me and Kelvin fight for the real belt. Then when he’s all healed up and 100 percent, he can come see me and challenge for the belt.”

For complete coverage of UFC 234, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Israel Adesanya def. Anderson Silva at UFC 234: Best photos

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