Whittaker out of UFC 234 due to hernia surgery

Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone Offers To Step In And Save The UFC 234 Main Headliner Bout

The news, in which Whittaker reportedly suffered a hernia, initially came via ESPN's Brett Okamoto.

But the bout is now off after Whittaker was diagnosed with a hernia in his abdomen overnight, just hours before he was due to step into the Octagon.

Fighting out of Sydney, Whittaker is the UFC's first titleholder from Australia.

Making the development even more bitter is that almost this same thing happened a year ago with the same fighter, the same country and the same belt on the line.

It's 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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The cancellation of the bout poses the question of whether or not Gastelum will get the first shot at Whittaker's belt when he returns from injury, with the victor of the fight between Adesanya and Silva guaranteed a title shot.

"The Ultimate Fighter 17" victor has been working for a chance at UFC gold for a long time.

Elevated to the co-main is the lightweight matchup between Albuquerque action hero Lando Vannata and surging Brazilian Marcos Mariano.

Gastelum's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, appeared on ESPN Radio following the news of Whittaker's withdrawal and said he believes his client will be compensated by the UFC brass.

There are a total of five fights on the main card.

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