Robert Whittaker pulls out of UFC 234 main event due to hernia

Nigeria’s UFC World Middleweight title contender Israel Adesanya

It is understood a devastated Whittaker will undergo surgery on Sunday.

Australian middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has been ruled out of his title defense main event fight at UFC 234 in Melbourne against American contender Kelvin Gastelum after suffering a hernia injury.

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).

Evidently, Whittaker began complaining of pain in his abdomen during the middle of the night and was taken to the hospital.

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UFC 234 takes place from Melbourne, Australia and the Rod Laver Arena.

It marks the second time Whittaker has been forced to withdraw from a scheduled title fight in Australia.

For all the good luck that the UFC had in keeping fights scheduled through January, February is not starting off the same way.

He is a heavy favorite going up against the 43-year old Silva, who has not fought in two years, and a victory should catapult the entertaining Style Bender into the main event scene. 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.

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