Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

Robert Whittaker withdraws from UFC 234 with hernia

Robert Whittaker withdraws from UFC 234 with hernia

UFC president Dana White said Whittaker's injury was unexpected and occurred the previous night.

Israel Adesanya had the torched passed to him from a legend while putting on a show in the impromptu UFC 234 main event on Saturday night. Adesanya has won five consecutive fights in the Octagon, tying him for the second-longest active winning streak in the middleweight division.

6 Degrees Management, who manage Whittaker, released a statement during the event that the middleweight champion required dual surgery for a twisted and collapsed bowel as well as an internal hernia of the intestine.

"This was a freak, freak injury", White told ESPN.

As a result, UFC promoted the co-main event between Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya to the main event.

It is understood Whittaker started complaining to his coaching staff late on Saturday evening of pain in his abdomen. Adesanya sidestepped the blow, however, and went back to work.

Earlier in the week UFC President Dana White confirmed that the victor of the bout would be next in line for a middleweight title shot, however with Whittaker's withdrawal, Adesanya will likely have to wait for the dust to settle between Gastelum and Whittaker.

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Anderson Silva had flashes of brilliance throughtout the fight, but Israel Adesanya always remained calm and continued to outpoint Silva for the better portion of the fight.

Slated to headline UFC 234 against American Kelvin Gastelum at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday, Whittaker was instead rushed to hospital around 2am Sunday morning with a suspected hernia.

While Silva has been in numerous high-profile bouts over the course of his illustrious career, it was some added pressure for Adesanya, who has been tabbed as one the promotion's rising stars. All four earn an additional $50,000.

Gastelum is coming off wins against Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Michael Bisping.

Check out more UFC 232 coverage at MMA Junkie. UFC has offered full refunds due to the cancellation of the main bout.

All three Kiwi fighters from Auckland gym City Kickboxing were successful on the Melbourne card with Kai Kara-France winning via split decision and Shane Young taking a unanimous decision victory.

The UFC will seek a replacement opponent.

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