UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was expected to defend his title last night in Australia against Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC 234.
However, just hours before the event commenced, UFC President Dana White notified ESPN that Whittaker was out of the event headliner due to injury.
According to the UFC boss, Robert Whittaker had been experiencing abdominal pains and was taken to hospital.
After being assessed by doctors, it was determined that Whittaker had a collapsed bowel and internal hernia which required immediate treatment in the form of surgery.
Robert Whittaker underwent successful surgery earlier today and then posted the following video on the UFC official Twitter regarding his removal from the UFC 234 main event.
“Hey everyone. Rob here. I thought I would give you guys an update on how I’m doing. I am still in the hospital. I had to get emergency surgery on Sunday because I had a collapsed bowel and internal hernia. So it was causing me all sorts of problems.” Robert Whittaker said with a chuckle. “Umm, let me say I’m sorry for all my friends, family and friends who came out to watch me perform. But unfortunately I couldn’t be there. I tried my best to try and swing it and I was fighting the doctors the whole way up until they said ‘you have to get surgery or you’re going to lose part of your bowel’. You know, it could be potentially fatal so yea I had to look at my health first. I’m sorry guys, but you can’t plan for these things. I’m sorry to (Kelvin) Gastelum, cause he came out here and he prepped a long way and I couldn’t give him a show. But, it is what it is. I want to say a special thank you to my teammates and my coaching staff and my management and to my friends and family who helped me during the whole period. Especially my team.”
As for Kelvin Gastelum, the top UFC middleweight contender did attend last night’s event and turned heads by sporting one of the promotions fancy new championship belts.
Gastelum would later proclaim to reporters that he is now the UFC’s official middleweight champion of the world.
Dana White would later refute Gastelum’s comments, insinuating that Robert Whittaker is still the promotions undisputed middleweight champion.
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