'Torn' Kelvin Gastelum Releases Statement Regarding UFC 234 Main Event Cancellation

Carla Harmon
February 10, 2019

Australia's UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has withdrawn from his championship defence against Kelvin Gastelum on Sunday at UFC 234 because of an abdominal injury. White has also confirmed that Whittaker will be heading into surgery today to correct the issue that's forced this sudden change of events.

Whittaker, who successfully weighed in on Friday, was experiencing pain in his abdomen late last evening and was immediately taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed.

For all the good luck that the UFC had in keeping fights scheduled through January, February is not starting off the same way.


Silva, 43, broke into tears during the UFC 234 official weigh-in.

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.

With next to no time to find a replacement for Whittaker all the way out in Australia, UFC 234 turned to its old superstar in Silva to headline the event.


Whittaker's withdrawal has thrown a spanner in the works for UFC president Dana White, who was banking on the winners of the main and co-main events to square off later this year.

It means the highly-anticipated No 1 contender match between Adesanya (15-0) and Brazilian legend Anderson Silva (34-8, 1nc) will now serve as the main event.


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