Robert Whittaker pulls out of UFC 234 main event due to hernia


However, earlier this afternoon UFC President Dana White revealed to ESPN's Brett Okamoto that Whittaker had been forced off the card due to injury.

According to a report by ESPN, Whittaker suffered a hernia in his abdomen and could not be cleared to compete.

With Whittaker out, Anderson Silva's long-awaited return to the octagon against rising star Israel Adesanya has been elevated to the UFC 234 main event.

Of course, many wondered what would happen to his opponent, Gastelum, who earned this title opportunity after defeating the likes of former champion Michael Bisping and Ronald "Jacare" Souza in back-to-back fights. The issue is not believed to be related to his weight cut.

This marks the second time that Whittaker has been slated to fight in Australia, but been unable to compete because of complications.

Silva was guaranteed a title shot by White if he defeats Adesanya at UFC 234 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne this weekend. Adesanaya vs. Silva will remain a three-round contest.

A lightweight clash between Lando Vannata and Marcos Rosa Mariano will now move to the main card.

The hype surrounding the Adesanya-Silva fight has been arguably just as big as the Whittaker-Gastelum showdown, if not bigger.

Ironically, injury also forced Whittaker out of his last scheduled title defence in Australia, a UFC 221 clash with Luke Rockhold in Perth.