Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

Whittaker out of title defence at UFC 234

Whittaker out of title defence at UFC 234

Australia's own Robert Whittaker will defend the middleweight title against Kelvin Gastelum in the evening's main event.

UFC president Dana White told ESPN that Whittaker complained of pain in his abdomen late Saturday night (Australian time) 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. He was diagnosed with an abdominal hernia.

"Yeah this is for the number one contender position, this is it", said White. Representatives for Whittaker did not immediately respond to requests for comment. "Get well soon!" Gastelum coached opposite Whittaker on Season 28 of "The Ultimate Fighter".

In the middleweight co-feature, which is expected to produce the next title challenger, unbeaten Israel Adesanya (15-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) is more than a 6-1 favorite against former longtime champ Anderson Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC). We still will be getting what should be a stellar middleweight showcase in the main event with a prominent name attached - it just won't be contested for the 185-pound title. The Early Prelim headlining bout pitting Lando Vannata vs. Marcos Mariano has been elevated to the UFC 234 Pay-Per-View main card. Whittaker did compete in June 2018 against the man he defeated for the interim title, Yoel Romero, though that fight was not contested for Whittaker's championship due to Romero significantly missing weight.

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