Australia's UFC world champion Rob Whittaker is out with a hernia. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Australia's UFC world champion Rob Whittaker is out with a hernia. Picture: Dylan Robinson

Aussie UFC champ rushed to hospital

Australian UFC champ Robert Whittaker has been sensationally ruled out of his title fight at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne on Sunday after a hernia issue has seen him rushed to hospital.

Whittaker, the middleweight champ, was supposed to be defending his title for the first time on Australian soil against American Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234.

The Daily Telegraph understands the 28-year-old Sydneysider, who is undefeated in his past nine Octagon appearances, started complaining to his team of pain in his hotel room overnight.

Australia's UFC world champion Rob Whittaker during training at Wombarra Beach. His title fight has been called off at the last moment. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Australia's UFC world champion Rob Whittaker during training at Wombarra Beach. His title fight has been called off at the last moment. Picture: Dylan Robinson

The fighter dubbed Bobby Knuckles by fans was rushed to a Melbourne hospital this morning.

The result is a huge blow for the Australian who had sold out his first title defence on homesoil in just eight minutes.

Ironically, injury also forced Whittaker out of his last scheduled title defence in Australia, a UFC 221 clash with Luke Rockhold in Perth.

It is understood Whittaker started complaining to his coaching staff late on Saturday evening of pain in his abdomen.

A UFC spokesperson said the issue was not related to his weight cut.

 

Robert Whittaker weighs in at Rod Laver Arena yesterday.
Robert Whittaker weighs in at Rod Laver Arena yesterday.

 

As a result, the co-main between Brazilian great Anderson Silva and New Zealand phenom Israel Adesanya will now become the headline event.

UFC officials have said the fight will remain over three rounds, and not go to five - as is the case for headline events.

A lightweight clash between Lando Vannata and Marcos Rosa Mariano will now move to the main card.

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News Corp Australia


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