Medical Emergency Knocks Robert Whittaker Out of the UFC 234 Main Event

Medical Emergency Knocks Robert Whittaker Out of the UFC 234 Main Event

Behind the first UFC paywall of the year is a middldweight title fight between champion, Robert Whittaker, and challenger, Kelvin Gastelum.

Whittaker, 28, was forced to pull out of a title defense in February 2018 as a result of injury - representatives for Whittaker have not responded to requests for comment.

A UFC spokesperson said the issue was not related to his weight cut.

It means the no less anticipated co-main event between Israel "The Last Stylebender" Adesanya and Brazilian legend Anderson Silva will top proceedings Down Under.

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.


UFC president Dana White told ESPN that Whittaker complained of pain in his abdomen late Saturday night (Australian time) and was taken to a local hospital.

Despite being elevated to the main event, Adesanya's bout will remain a three-round fight.

The UFC will stage its first pay-per-view of 2019 from Australia, and fight fans at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne - home of the Australian Open - will see two massive middleweight matchups.

In a later statement, UFC said Whittaker had undergone emergency surgery due to a "severe abdominal injury". Adesanya, who fights out of New Zealand, is one of the UFC's most promising prospects, taking on an all-time great in Silva.

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