Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker ruled out for title defense fight

10 February, 2019, 01:42 | Author: Irvin Gilbert
  • Tonight's UFC 234 Main Event Scrapped, Former Champion Elevated Into Headline Fight

In the main event, middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (20-4 MMA, 11-2 UFC) puts his title up against challenger Kelvin Gastelum (15-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC).

But the bout is now off after Whittaker was diagnosed with a hernia in his abdomen overnight, just hours before he was due to step into the Octagon.

The news, in which Whittaker reportedly suffered a hernia, initially came via ESPN's Brett Okamoto.

The loss of Whittaker, who is on a nine-fight win streak, will certainly be a massive disappointment for many fans with UFC 234 tickets.

The lack of big fights has prevented Whittaker to find the amount of recognition that some of the other champions enjoy but that does not make him any less unsafe.

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Whittaker was set to defend his title for the first time since becoming interim champion at UFC 213.

He later said Whittaker would be undergoing surgery on Sunday for the problem. Now, a year later, history has repeated itself with even worse timing for Dana White.

"I definitely think there should be some sort of feeding program for the UFC, like The Ultimate Fighter has been but I think The Ultimate Fighter has served its goal", Gastelum said ahead of his fight at UFC 234 (via MyMMANews).

With next to no time to find a replacement for Whittaker all the way out in Australia, UFC 234 turned to its old superstar in Silva to headline the event.

Elevated to the co-main is the lightweight matchup between Albuquerque action hero Lando Vannata and surging Brazilian Marcos Mariano. Injuries kept him from fighting Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in Perth previous year.

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