MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Australia's UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has withdrawn from his championship defense against Kelvin Gastelum on Sunday at UFC 234 because of a hernia.
UFC president Dana White says the 29-year-old Whittaker, who has a record of 20-4, became ill Saturday night and complained of pain in his abdomen before being diagnosed at a hospital with a hernia.
The highly anticipated No. 1 contender match between rising New Zealand star Israel Adesanya (15-0) and Brazilian veteran Anderson Silva (34-8) will now serve as the main event on the Rod Laver Arena card.
It marks the second time Whittaker has been forced to withdraw from a scheduled title fight in Australia. Injuries kept him from fighting Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in Perth last year.
Earlier this week, White had said the winners of the Whittaker-Gastelum and Adesanya-Silva fights would meet later this year.
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