Israel Adesanya Emulates The Rock, Stone Cold At UFC 234 Workout

Brenda Watkins
February 10, 2019

However, that will all change on Sunday as Whittaker will be taking on Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC 234 with the Middleweight Championship belt on the line.

ESPN's Brett Okamoto reported the news, citing UFC chief Dana White.

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.

It means the highly-anticipated No 1 contender match between Adesanya (15-0) and Brazilian legend Anderson Silva (34-8, 1nc) will now serve as the main event.

In a later statement, UFC said Whittaker had undergone emergency surgery due to a "severe abdominal injury".

Whittaker was taken to hospital on Saturday morning, a source told ESPN's Ariel Helwani.

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The lack of big fights has prevented Whittaker to find the amount of recognition that some of the other champions enjoy but that does not make him any less unsafe.

UFC 234 takes place from Melbourne, Australia and the Rod Laver Arena.

Whittaker, fresh off winning the middleweight belt, had been scheduled to mount his first title defense in February 2018 against Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia.

The loss of Whittaker will certainly be a massive disappointment for many fans with UFC 234 tickets.

He is a heavy favorite going up against the 43-year old Silva, who has not fought in two years, and a victory should catapult the entertaining Style Bender into the main event scene. Lando Vannata and Marcos Mariano's lightweight matchup will also be elevated to co-main status.

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