Whittaker OUT of UFC 234 after being taken to hospital

Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone Offers To Step In And Save The UFC 234 Main Headliner Bout

The "people's main event" has become the official main event at UFC 234 in Melbourne after middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was forced to withdraw from the card with a hernia.

It's obviously a huge blow to Whittaker, 28, who was forced to pull out of a title defense on home soil in February 2018.

"He was taken to hospital and diagnosed with a hernia", Okamoto revealed. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass, the UFC's digital streaming network.

"It wasn't a weight-cutting related issue or anything like that, it's just a very unfortunate hernia issue which may even require a procedure".

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.

New Zealand UFC middleweight Israel Adesanya earned his stripes in the octagon a year ago though he is yet to be respected as a fighter in his own right.

Rising UFC star Israel Adesanya is determined to cement his unique identity at UFC 234 in Melbourne on Sunday in a confirmed bid for the title.

The loss of Whittaker will certainly be a massive disappointment for many fans with UFC 234 tickets.

In a later statement, UFC said Whittaker had undergone emergency surgery due to a "severe abdominal injury".

Those plans will now be delayed, given Gastelum is next in line for a title shot before the victor of the Adesanya-Silva showdown.

"Kelvin is the biggest hurdle in my way, and he's a true test", Whittaker said.

"I'm the All Black look at me!"

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