MELBOURNE, Australia — An belly hernia has pressured UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker out of his extremely anticipated title protection in opposition to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234, simply hours earlier than doorways have been scheduled to open at Rod Laver Area.
UFC president Dana White advised ESPN that Whittaker complained of ache in his stomach late final night time, and was taken to a neighborhood hospital. The Aussie champ was identified with a hernia and can bear surgical procedure later within the day, in response to White.
A non-title middleweight bout between rising star Israel Adesanya (15-0) and Anderson Silva (34-8) will now headline UFC 234, which bought out in minutes when tickets first went on sale. Adesanya, who fights out of New Zealand, is without doubt one of the UFC’s most promising prospects, taking over an all-time nice in Silva.
It is clearly an enormous blow to Whittaker, 28, who was pressured to drag out of a title protection on dwelling soil in February 2018. That withdrawal was additionally as a result of damage. Representatives for Whittaker didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Silva, 43, broke into tears in the course of the UFC 234 official weigh-in. That is Silva’s first look since February 2017. The UFC had already introduced the winner of that combat can be subsequent in line to problem for the 185-pound title.