Robert Whittaker out of UFC 234 title defense due to injury

Robert Whittaker out of UFC 234 title defense due to injury

Robert Whittaker out of UFC 234 title defense due to injury

Slated to headline UFC 234 against American Kelvin Gastelum at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday, Whittaker was instead rushed to hospital around 2am Sunday morning with a suspected hernia.

In the co-main event, former middleweight champion Anderson Silva (34-8) weighed in at 186 pounds for his non-title fight against Israel Adesanya (15-0).

Adesanya, 29, is now ranked sixth in the UFC Middleweight division, coming off a first round TKO victory against Derek Brunson at UFC 230 back in November.

It is understood Whittaker started complaining to his coaching staff late on Saturday evening of pain in his abdomen. That would have been Whittaker's first bout since being named middleweight champion following Georges St Pierre's surrendering of the title.

Adesanya, a New Zealander who UFC called its breakout star of 2018 in its release, made his UFC debut only a year ago in the preliminary card of UFC 221, the same event that Whittaker had to pull out of.

This marks the second time that Whittaker has been slated to fight in Australia, but been unable to compete because of complications. The issue is not believed to be related to his weight cut.

UFC legend Anderson Silva broke down in tears as he prepares to make his long-awaited return at UFC 234 in Australia.

There are a total of five fights on the main card.

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