Robert Whittaker Injured, Title Fight At UFC 234 Off

It's the second time Whittaker hasn't taken to the Octagon for a title defence on home soil.

The judges have scored the three-round middleweight fight 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 in favour of the man known as "The Last Style Bender".

As a result of the eleventh-hour cancellation, Israel Adesanya's 185lbs showdown with Anderson Silva was promoted to the main event.

Appearing on ESPN Radio with Ariel Helwani, Derek Brunson said that he expects his next fight to be against 14th ranked middleweight, Toronto-native Elias Theodorou.

"This is like, if I'm playing basketball, to play against Michael Jordan", Adesanya said during the post-fight interview.

Undefeated former kickboxing star Adesanya's fight against 43-year-old former middleweight champion Silva, who was returning from a two-year hiatus - which included a one-year doping ban, had already been billed as a world title eliminator.

It continued a awful run of bad luck and health issues for 28-year-old Whittaker since he won the interim title in 2017.

By round two however, Silva began to mount some more effective offence and the contest quickly turned into a wild back-and-forth battle with both fighters using a range of unorthodox techniques including high kicks and spinning attacks.

"Let me say that I'm sorry to all my friends and family and fans that came out to watch me", Whittaker said.

Adesanya was expected to earn a title shot with a win at UFC 234 but now that may be put on hold with Gastelum still expected to get the next crack at Whittaker once he's healthy again.

'It's one of those situations had it popped out during the fight, it could have been fatal for him, ' said White. "It really does. And it makes it easier for me to try even harder next time, to get in there and to put my soul on bare and put on a good show for you guys". "After several hours of observation he was admitted to the hospital at 3 a.m. Rob is just out of dual surgery for a twisted and collapsed bowel in addition an internal hernia of the intestine and will be recovering in the hospital for several days".

Gastelum tweeted with "much sorrow" that the fight was off, but showed sympathy for Whittaker's plight. I wish him a speedy recovery.

Gastelum's manager Ali Abdelaziz told Ariel Helwani on ESPN Radio that he hopes to see Gastelum face Israel Adesanya in April for an interim title.

The bout became the main event due to freakish circumstances. Subscribe to get all the latest UFC content: http://bit.ly/2uJRzRR Experience UFC live with UFC FIGHT PASS, the digital subscription service of the UFC.

Vanessa Coleman

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