According to a report by ESPN, Whittaker suffered a hernia in his abdomen and could not be cleared to compete.
Fighting out of Sydney, Whittaker is the UFC's first titleholder from Australia. "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".
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Making the development even more bitter is that almost this same thing happened a year ago with the same fighter, the same country and the same belt on the line.
Kelvin Gastelum is trying to put a positive spin on losing his chance to fight for the middleweight title at UFC 234.
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This marks the second time that Whittaker has been slated to fight in Australia, but been unable to compete because of complications. Adesanya, who fights out of New Zealand, is one of the UFC's most promising prospects, taking on an all-time great in Silva.
Whittaker was taken to hospital on Saturday morning, a source told ESPN's Ariel Helwani. Now, Adesanya gets the biggest fight of his career thanks to a UFC card being suddenly Whittaker-less again.
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After this year, we'll see'. "He has the potential to be the best player in Europe at the moment", said Maurizio Sarri last week. We've seen it with Jose Mourinho, with Andre Villas-Boas.