UFC 234 'Whittaker Vs. Gastelum' Top Three Fighters To Watch

Bessie Dean
February 10, 2019

The "people's main event" has become the official main event at UFC 234 in Melbourne after middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was forced to withdraw from the card with a hernia.

ESPN first reported the news and said Whittaker's withdrawal was not a result of weight cutting issues.

In the middleweight co-feature, which is expected to produce the next title challenger, unbeaten Israel Adesanya (15-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) is more than a 6-1 favorite against former longtime champ Anderson Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC).

Whittaker reportedly complained of pain in his abdomen around midnight of the previous night and was soon taken to the hospital. Both fighters possess long limbs, silky unpredictable movement, a love for comic and anime and endless cardio but being the kings of walking the walk makes their talk even more intriguing.

It's obviously a huge blow to Whittaker, 28, who was forced to pull out of a title defense on home soil in February 2018.

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Whittaker was set to defend his title for the first time since becoming interim champion at UFC 213. Now, a year later, history has repeated itself with even worse timing for Dana White.

Whittaker praised Gastelum as a challenger and even called him "one of the most unsafe fighters to date".

New Zealand UFC middleweight Israel Adesanya earned his stripes in the octagon a year ago though he is yet to be respected as a fighter in his own right.

With next to no time to find a replacement for Whittaker all the way out in Australia, UFC 234 turned to its old superstar in Silva to headline the event.

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