With the title fight off, UFC 234, which takes place at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass, will see Israel Adesanya (15-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) fight Anderson Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC) in the new main event.
It's a huge blow to Whittaker, 28, who was forced to pull out of a title defense on home soil in February 2018.
Saturday's UFC 234 main event between middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and top contender Kelvin Gastelum was called off just hours before the card was to start. Adesanaya vs. Silva will remain a three-round contest.
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Elevated to the co-main is the lightweight matchup between Albuquerque action hero Lando Vannata and surging Brazilian Marcos Mariano. He later informed Okamoto that Whittaker would be going into surgery Saturday (North American time) to take care of the hernia. "His injury isn't believed to be related to his weight cut".
Ahead of Saturdays' much-anticipated Middleweight bout, the fighters held open workouts for the media, which paved the way for Adesanya to break out a Stone Cold Stunner as well as a Rock Bottom and People's Elbow, sprinkled with a little bit of Ric Flair swagger and a Booker T spinaroonie.
Adesanya is undefeated from 15 fights in mixed martial arts, and won his first four fights in the UFC previous year, including three victories that were adjudged performance of the night.