Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker ruled out for title defense fight

Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker ruled out for title defense fight

Whittaker, fresh off winning the middleweight belt, had been scheduled to mount his first title defense in February 2018 against Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia.

Just hours ago we got the awful news that 185-pound reigning champion Robert Whittaker forced to withdraw from his title fight with Kelvin Gastelum due to hernia issue.

Per Okamoto, the hernia was not related to Whittaker's weight cut.

Kelvin Gastelum is trying to put a positive spin on losing his chance to fight for the middleweight title at UFC 234.

It is understood a devastated Whittaker will undergo surgery on Sunday.

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.

UFC fighters Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva.

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. The Early Prelim headlining bout pitting Lando Vannata vs. Marcos Mariano has been elevated to the UFC 234 Pay-Per-View main card.

Adesanya is undefeated from 15 fights in mixed martial arts, and won his first four fights in the UFC a year ago, including three victories that were adjudged performance of the night.

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