The main event of UFC 234 has undergone a change because UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker has been pulled from the card after being diagnosed with a hernia. Kelvin Gastelum, who was set to challenge for the gold, has also been pulled from the event. He'll be undergoing surgery today.
Brett Okamoto of ESPN first broke the story, while also revealing that Whittaker was hospitalized the night before. Whittaker did make weight for the event and appeared on the weigh-in show, meaning he was hospitalized a short time after that.
This bout would’ve served as the first title defense for Whittaker, as well as the first time Gastelum has challenged for a title.
A middleweight division attraction between former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya will now serve as the main event of the show.
According to the UFC’s official website, a lightweight division encounter between Lando Vannata and Marcos Rosa will get moved up to the pay-per-view main card, as they were originally scheduled to fight on the UFC Fight Pass portion of the preliminary card.
UFC 234 takes place on Saturday, February 9 from the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia with Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.