Whittaker out of title defence at UFC 234

Sergio Cunningham
February 10, 2019

Kelvin Gastelum was expected to challenge Robert Whittaker for the promotions middleweight championship in the headliner of tonight's UFC 234 event in Australia. The Aussie champ was diagnosed with a hernia and was set to undergo surgery, according to White.

The highly anticipated No. 1 contender match between rising New Zealand star Israel Adesanya (15-0) and Brazilian veteran Anderson Silva (34-8) will now serve as the main event on the Rod Laver Arena card.

For all the good luck that the UFC had in keeping fights scheduled through January, February is not starting off the same way.

UFC 234 will move forward with Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva taking over the headlining slot. Whittaker reportedly complained of pain in his abdomen around midnight of the previous night and was soon taken to the hospital. "It wasn't a weight-cutting related issue or anything like that, it's just a very unfortunate hernia issue which may even require a procedure".

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The UFC 234 weigh-ins took place today and the fighters met face-to-face for the last time.

Whittaker's withdrawal has thrown a spanner in the works for UFC president Dana White, who was banking on the winners of the main and co-main events to square off later this year.

Despite being elevated to the main event, Adesanya's bout will remain a three-round fight.

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