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

Deanna Kelley
February 10, 2019

The news, in which Whittaker reportedly suffered a hernia, initially came via ESPN's Brett Okamoto.

It is understood Whittaker started complaining to his coaching staff late on Saturday evening of pain in his abdomen. "I was told it was not any weight-cutting related issue or anything like that".

In the co-main event, former middleweight champion Anderson Silva (34-8) weighed in at 186 pounds for his non-title fight against Israel Adesanya (15-0).

This is the second time Whittaker has been forced to withdraw from a scheduled title fight down under, after a range of injuries kept him from fighting Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in Perth previous year. About a month before the event, Whittaker had to pull out with a staph infection in his stomach. That would have been Whittaker's first bout since being named middleweight champion following Georges St Pierre's surrendering of the title.

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

Silva, who is officially 1-4-1 in his last six fights, is returning from a two-year hiatus from fighting due to failed drug tests.

Gastelum's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, appeared on ESPN Radio following the news of Whittaker's withdrawal and said he believes his client will be compensated by the UFC brass.

Follow live updates as three Kiwis fight at UFC 234. Now, Adesanya gets the biggest fight of his career thanks to a UFC card being suddenly Whittaker-less again.

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