Australian middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has been ruled out of his title defense main event fight at UFC 234 in Melbourne against American contender Kelvin Gastelum after suffering a hernia injury.
Whittaker was due to take on Gastelum in an eagerly-awaited match-up at the top of the bill on home soil at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday local time.
But the bout is now off after Whittaker suffered a hernia problem overnight, just hours before he was due to step into the Octagon.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported the news, citing UFC chief Dana White.
He later said Whittaker would be undergoing surgery on Sunday for the problem.
Per @danawhite, Robert Whittaker is going into surgery TODAY for the hernia issue that forced him off the card. Obviously, wishing him the best.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 9, 2019
It means the no less anticipated co-main event between Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya and Brazilian legend Anderson Silva will top proceedings Down Under.