Whittaker OUT of UFC 234 after being taken to hospital

Tonight's UFC 234 Main Event Scrapped, Former Champion Elevated Into Headline Fight

In the main event, middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (20-4 MMA, 11-2 UFC) puts his title up against challenger Kelvin Gastelum (15-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC).

UFC president Dana White revealed the news to ESPN on Saturday after Whittaker pulled out of the fight.

Whittaker reportedly complained of pain in his abdomen around midnight of the previous night and was soon taken to the hospital.

It means the no less anticipated co-main event between Israel "The Last Stylebender" Adesanya and Brazilian legend Anderson Silva will top proceedings Down Under.

In a later statement, UFC said Whittaker had undergone emergency surgery due to a "severe abdominal injury".

ESPN's Ariel Helwani does not paint a pretty picture of what occurred that night, with Whittaker now in surgery.

Other fights on the UFC 234 main card include Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simon (Bantamweight), Montana De La Rosa vs. Nadia Kassem (Women Flyweight) and Jim Crute vs. Sam Alvey (Light Heavyweight).

The loss of Whittaker, who is on a nine-fight win streak, will certainly be a massive disappointment for many fans with UFC 234 tickets.

Rising UFC star Israel Adesanya is determined to cement his unique identity at UFC 234 in Melbourne on Sunday in a confirmed bid for the title.

Whittaker was set to defend his title for the first time since becoming interim champion at UFC 213.

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

The UFC 234 weigh-ins took place today and the fighters met face-to-face for the last time.

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