Whittaker out of title defence at UFC 234

Anderson-Silva-Israel-Adesanya

The event is going down on February 10, 2019 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

Australia's UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has withdrawn from his championship defence against Kelvin Gastelum on Sunday at UFC 234 because of an abdominal injury.

The cancellation of the bout poses the question of whether or not Gastelum will get the first shot at Whittaker's belt when he returns from injury, with the victor of the fight between Adesanya and Silva guaranteed a title shot.

"According to White, Whittaker (20-4 MMA, 11-2 UFC) started to complain of pain in his abdomen late last night and was taken to the hospital".

Elevated to the co-main is the lightweight matchup between American Lando Vannata and Brazilian Marcos Mariano.

Per Okamoto, the hernia was not related to Whittaker's weight cut. Whittaker was forced into emergency surgery while UFC 234 lost its hometown hero for the second straight attempt on Australian land. Adesanya, who fights out of New Zealand, is one of the UFC's most promising prospects, taking on an all-time great in Silva.

UFC officials have said the fight will remain over three rounds, and not go to five - as is the case for headline events.

The 28-year-old was scheduled to defend his belt against Yoel Romero at UFC 225, but the fight was changed to a non-title bout after Romero missed weight.

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