Whittaker out of UFC 234 due to hernia surgery

Anderson-Silva-Israel-Adesanya

In the main event of the UFC 234 Aussie middleweight champion Robert Whitaker defends his title against U.S. rival Kelvin Gastelum.

The Kiwi-born Whittaker was scheduled to fight American Kelvin Gastelum over five rounds today at Rod Laver Arena, but the fight has been pulled from the card.

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.

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

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UFC's rising star Israel Adesanya (15-0) and Anderson Silva (34-8) will now headline UFC 234, with the victor promised a shot at the title later in the year although now with Whittaker off the card the potential date is uncertain.

UFC middleweight champ Robert Whittaker was forced to withdraw from Sunday's bout due to a hernia.

Tune in Saturday, Feb. 9 (across North America, Feb. 10 local time in Melbourne), for full UFC 234: Whittaker vs. Gastelum Live Results. 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.

Silva (34-8-0, 1 NC), one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in UFC history who held the middleweight title for seven years between 2006 and 2013, has not stepped foot in the octagon since his win over Derek Brunson at UFC 208 in 2017.

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