Whittaker out of title defence at UFC 234

Whittaker out of title defence at UFC 234

Whittaker out of title defence at UFC 234

A medical condition forced middleweight champion Robert Whittaker to withdraw UFC 234 just hours before he was slated to defend his belt against Kelvin Gastelum.

Taking its place at the top of the bill will be the former co-main event between Kiwi phenom Israel Adesanya and Brazilian legend Anderson Silva.

Whittaker was hoping his health woes were behind him and said before he was ruled out that he was relishing the test Gastelum posed.

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UFC president Dana White told ESPN that Whittaker complained of pain in his abdomen late last night and was taken to a local hospital.

ESPN's Ariel Helwani does not paint a pretty picture of what occurred that night, with Whittaker now in surgery.

In a massive blow to the fight card, the Aussie has been forced out of the main event due to a hernia suffered the night before his fight against Kevin Gastelum.

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Rising UFC star Israel Adesanya is determined to cement his unique identity at UFC 234 in Melbourne on Sunday in a confirmed bid for the title.

Whittaker, fresh off winning the middleweight belt, had been scheduled to mount his first title defense in February 2018 against Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia.

He is a heavy favorite going up against the 43-year old Silva, who has not fought in two years, and a victory should catapult the entertaining Style Bender into the main event scene. Injuries kept him from fighting Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in Perth a year ago.

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The loss of Whittaker will certainly be a massive disappointment for many fans with UFC 234 tickets.

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