Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has been forced out of UFC 234’s main event with Kelvin Gastelum tonight after suffering a hernia.
UFC President Dana White confirmed to ESPN that Whittaker is out after experiencing pain in his stomach last night. Whittaker was rushed to hospital, where he was diagnosed with a hernia, which is not believed to be related to his weight cut, but has led to him being ruled out of competing this evening.
As a result the UFC now appear set to remove Gastelum from the card, with the co-main event between Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya now taking the headline spot on the card, while a preliminary card match-up between Lando Vannata and Marcos Rosa Mariano now promoted the fill the spot on the pay-per-view line-up.
Aside from the two fights at the top of the bill, UFC 234 always appeared to be lacking in real star power and so the removal of the main event has hit the card hard and may well lead to absymal pay-per-view numbers.
For the record, UFC star Donald Cerrone wrote to Dana White on socal media to indicate that he’d be willing to step in and fight as he was set to be in the arena tonight anyway after being the special guest at a fan Q&A yesterday.
However, it seems the UFC are unlikely to take him up on that offer, particularly as the current word from White is that ‘Cowboy’ may well turn out to be Conor McGregor’s next opponent in the summer.