Hernia Forces Robert Whittaker Out of Title Defense vs. Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234

By Tristen Critchfield Feb 9, 2019


Robert Whittaker has been forced out of his middleweight title defense against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234 to undergo surgery for a hernia in his abdomen.

UFC President Dana White confirmed the news to ESPN on Saturday. Whittaker experienced pain in his abdomen late last night and was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a hernia. The issue is not believed to be related to his weight cut.

As a result, the middleweight co-main event between Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva will be elevated to the new UFC 234 headliner. Adesanaya vs. Silva will remain a three-round contest. 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.

UFC 234 takes place at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. Injury also forced Whittaker to pull out of his last scheduled title defense in Australia, a UFC 221 clash against Luke Rockhold. “The Reaper” last appeared at UFC 225 in June, where he captured a five-round split decision against Yoel Romero for his ninth consecutive triumph.

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