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

Jim Crute UFC 234

Israel "Style Bender" Adesanya will look to improve his unblemished UFC record to 16-0 this Saturday, February 9, as he takes on veteran Anderson Silva at UFC 234 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

Anderson Silva, a former UFC middleweight champion, and rising contender Israel Adesanya have been elevated into the main event role for the night.

Australia's UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has withdrawn from his championship defence against Kelvin Gastelum on Sunday at UFC 234 because of an abdominal injury.

Whittaker's manager Titus Day told The Daily Telegraph his fighter started suffering from bloating shortly after Saturday's weigh-in.

More news: Trump suffers Senate defeat in Syria troops withdrawal vote

UFC President Dana White later confirmed the 28-year-old would be undertaking surgery today.

But the bout is now off after Whittaker was diagnosed with a hernia in his abdomen overnight, just hours before he was due to step into the Octagon. A lightweight clash between Lando Vannata and Marcos Rosa Mariano that was originally scheduled for the Fight Pass prelims has been moved to the pay-per-view lineup.

A UFC spokesperson said the issue was not related to his weight cut. Adesanya, who fights out of New Zealand, is one of the UFC's most promising prospects, taking on an all-time great in Silva. Now, Adesanya gets the biggest fight of his career thanks to a UFC card being suddenly Whittaker-less again.

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