Hernia takes Whittaker out of fight vs. Gastelum at UFC 234

Nigeria’s UFC World Middleweight title contender Israel Adesanya

Just hours ago we got the awful news that 185-pound reigning champion Robert Whittaker forced to withdraw from his title fight with Kelvin Gastelum due to hernia issue.

It's a huge blow to Whittaker, 28, who was forced to pull out of a title defense on home soil in February 2018.

ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto said that White told him the hernia was in no way weight cut related.

As a result, the middleweight co-main event between Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva will be elevated to the new UFC 234 headliner. That would have been Whittaker's first bout since being named middleweight champion following Georges St Pierre's surrendering of the title.

UFC president Dana White stated that Whittaker began complaining of issues after weighing in Friday night and was taken to a local hospital.

A lightweight clash between Lando Vannata and Marcos Rosa Mariano will now move to the main card.

In a later statement, UFC said Whittaker had undergone emergency surgery due to a "severe abdominal injury".

UFC 234 takes place at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

The hype surrounding the Adesanya-Silva fight has been arguably just as big as the Whittaker-Gastelum showdown, if not bigger.

Injuries kept him from fighting Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in Perth past year.

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