Whittaker out of fight vs. Gastelum at UFC 234

Whittaker out of fight vs. Gastelum at UFC 234

"This is like, for a kid, if I played basketball against Michael Jordan". Should Anderson Silva hang them up for good? - comment below.

The middleweight bout became the new main event at Rod Laver Arena after a severe abdominal injury forced champion Robert Whittaker to withdraw from his showdown against Kelvin Gastelum just hours before the fight.

Israel Adesanya said defeating Anderson Silva was beating his idol. "Well, this is it for me". Adesanya went on to win that bout via unanimous decision. When it ended, both moved to the center of the ring and went to their knees and bowed their heads in a show of respect.

UFC boss Dana White said Whittaker "had suffered a less than one per cent, freak, injury". I continue to fight because this is my home. "The guy is always taking care of himself, he's a great martial artist and that was a fun fight". "You only develop these methods through years of hard fought experience".

A Silva-McGregor fight is highly unlikely to happen, though.

"We have most of this year laid out already and I don't think one of those is to come back to Australia with a title fight", White said. Silva waited patiently for opportunities to counter, but he wasn't able to return to his glory days when he won 16 bouts in a row and was unbeaten for almost a decade.

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The bout became the main event due to weird circumstances.

Silva enjoyed some success in a more competitive second round, nailing the younger man with some punches. In a devastating, fight-day twist, however, Whittaker was forced out of this battle with a hernia, and rushed into surgery on the very evening he was supposed to compete.

Curitiba will be the host site for UFC 237 on May 11, which has no official main event yet.

Whittaker's management team posted on social media that the fighter will remain hospitalized for several days after undergoing surgery for a "twisted and collapsed bowel" and an "internal hernia of the intestine".

Unlike in Whittaker's last supposed title defense, there were no problems at the weigh-in as the scale totaled 185 pounds for Whittaker compared to 184 for Gastelum.

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