The UFC was shaken this morning with the news that Robert Whittaker had pulled out of his main clash with Kelvin Gastelum with a severe hernia.
The Australian had abdominal pain Saturday night and was admitted to the hospital before making the unsettling call to cancel the fight early Sunday.
The abrupt turn of events means that Israel Adesanya, the average weight of Kiwi, will be the protagonist of the card with his clash against UFC Royal Anderson Silva.
Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva
Lando Vannatavs against Marcos Rosa Mariano
Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simón
Jim Crute vs. Sam Alvey
Teruto Ishihara against Kyung Ho Kang
Callan Potter against Jalin Turner
Wuliji Buren v Jonathan Martinez
Hidden victim in the UFC disaster
Robert Whittaker was the city's speech this morning after pulling the pin on his title bout. The Australian will undergo surgery today after being admitted to hospital for a hernia. While the news is shattered by Whittaker, who has suffered a series of horror wounds, one thought must be spared for the aspiring challenger Kelvin Gastelum.
The American 15-3-0 is now without a fight after spending a bundle in the training camps in preparation for the Melbourne event and could be the victim of a cruel UFC ride.
The MMA reporter, Luke Thomas, has asserted the possibility of middleweight superstar Israel Adesanya – who is now encouraging the event with a monster match with Anderson Silva – bypassing Gastelum for a header against Whittaker.
Adesanya is stumbled across the cage and is a hot personality for promotion. Should he break down the great Silva's UFC, the 29-year-old will be in the boxed place to become one of Dana White's most prominent fighters.
This will also create a problem for the UFC if Adesanya shines. It's on a spaceship to the stars. If it sounds great, UFC could ride Gastelum for him. Do not suggest that they necessarily should or would be right, but hardly out of the question. 2/2
– Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) 9 February 2019
I'm sorry for Whitaker but what about Gastelum? It has a misery that must publicly thank the UFC for so it does not piss anyone because it needs a fight worse than ever now that it has spent a lot of money in a fight field and has not got the payday on which had he planned? # UFC234
– Leslie Smith (@LeslieSmith_GF) 9 February 2019
Gastelum sent champ Whittaker to receive a message very early and said he hoped his efforts for his title shot had not been in vain.
"With a lot of pain I write that my fight for the middleweight title is disabled," wrote the Californian on Instagram.
"I am sorry for all those who expected this great fight, family, friends and followers from all over the world.
"God has a reason to do things and I firmly believe his plans are much bigger and better than I can imagine.
"I am so shocked by this situation, a life of research to be able to reach this level and I hope that none of these efforts goes in vain".