Hernia takes Whittaker out of fight vs. Gastelum at UFC 234

WATCH: Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone Gives Australian UFC Fan His Hat

WATCH: Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone Gives Australian UFC Fan His Hat

Whittaker, 28, was forced to pull out of a title defense in February 2018 as a result of injury - representatives for Whittaker have not responded to requests for comment.

UFC middleweight Israel Adesanya will headline UFC 234 in Melbourne after champion Robert Whittaker was ruled out with a hernia.

According to a report by ESPN, Whittaker suffered a hernia in his abdomen and could not be cleared to compete.

UFC president Dana White told ESPN that Whittaker had been taken to hospital after complaining of stomach pain and was diagnosed with a hernia.

Sala: Nantes launch legal bid to force Cardiff to pay £15m
Cardiff are "surprised" that Nantes have made the demand while recovery attempts are still being carried out. Cardiff will honor the deal but have been reluctant to make a payment until they know " all the facts ".

The scheduled UFC 234 co-main event, featuring Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya, is now the new main event, per Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie. That would have been Whittaker's first bout since being named middleweight champion following Georges St Pierre's surrendering of the title.

A UFC spokesperson said the issue was not related to his weight cut.

He is a heavy favorite going up against the 43-year old Silva, who has not fought in two years, and a victory should catapult the entertaining Style Bender into the main event scene.

"The Ultimate Fighter 17" victor has been working for a chance at UFC gold for a long time. Now, Adesanya gets the biggest fight of his career thanks to a UFC card being suddenly Whittaker-less again.

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