Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker ruled out for title defense fight

Anderson-Silva-Israel-Adesanya

The 43-year-old Brazilian great will face Nigerian-New Zealander Israel Adesanya (15-0) in his comeback fight in Melbourne on Sunday and after making weight, Silva was overcome with emotion.

Behind the first UFC paywall of the year is a middldweight title fight between champion, Robert Whittaker, and challenger, Kelvin Gastelum.

Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker was forced to have 'emergency surgery' following his sudden withdrawal from UFC 234 on Saturday.

UFC president Dana White told ESPN that Whittaker had been taken to hospital after complaining of stomach pain and was diagnosed with a hernia.

The new co-main is the lightweight matchup between Lando Vannata and Marcos Mariano.

Other fights on the UFC 234 main card include Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simon (Bantamweight), Montana De La Rosa vs. Nadia Kassem (Women Flyweight) and Jim Crute vs. Sam Alvey (Light Heavyweight).

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On Twitter, Gastelum also wished Whittaker well in his recovery.

This marks the second time that Whittaker has been slated to fight in Australia, but been unable to compete because of complications.

Gastelum most recently earned a split decision win over Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in Brazil last may.

Former UFC title contender Chael Sonnen offered to step in and fight Silva on late notice if the UFC wanted to match Adesanya up with Gastelum for the title.

If not Sonnen, then perhaps a fighter closer to home?

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