Whittaker out of title defence at UFC 234

Anderson-Silva-Israel-Adesanya

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

As a result, the middleweight co-main event between Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva will be elevated to the new UFC 234 headliner.

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.

A lightweight clash between Lando Vannata and Marcos Rosa Mariano will now move to the main card.

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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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