UFC 234 didn’t get the cap off that we were all expecting. Sure, Israel Adesanya vs Anderson Silva was a thrilling chess match. But we were going to get that regardless.
Just hours before the event began, we learned that the UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker had to undergo emergency hernia surgery thus, obviously, removing him from his scheduled title defense against Kelvin Gastelum.
The challenger in Gastelum would not end up getting a replacement opponent. However, he was indeed compensated handsomely according to his manager Ali Abdelaziz.
Without disclosing exact specifics, Abdelaziz said that Gastelum was ‘taken care of’ with a ‘six-figure’ payday. This was before sharing when he and Gastelum would like to rebook the title bout.
“I just talked to Dana White and they are taking care of Kelvin, financially,” Abdelaziz told ESPN. “He’s very happy.
“I heard Whittaker can start training in five weeks and we are looking to get this fight rebooked between June or July.”
For the champion Whittaker, UFC 234 was to act as his first official title defense as well as his first fight in his home country of Australia while champion.
Despite doing all he could to try and make it to the fight, it’s good that Whittaker didn’t make it because otherwise, his injury could have been potentially fatal.
Kelvin Gastelum, on the other hand, hasn’t fought since UFC 224 in May 2018 when he defeated Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza via split decision to extend his current winning streak to two and earn his title shot.
Whittaker’s last outing came just a month after that when he picked up his second career victory over the always dangerous Yoel Romero at UFC 225.
If the UFC does rebook this title bout for some time in the Summer, it’s safe to assume that it would land on a card like either UFC 238 or UFC 239.
Neither have fights announced for them yet, but UFC 238 is scheduled for June 8 in Chicago, Illinois, while UFC 239 is yet to have any details revealed. Other than that it will be this year’s international fight week event.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/12/2019