Tonight's UFC 234 Main Event Scrapped, Former Champion Elevated Into Headline Fight

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Whittaker has a hernia that requires urgent surgery.

Whittaker's withdrawal has thrown a spanner in the works for UFC president Dana White, who was banking on the winners of the main and co-main events to square off later this year.

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

Robert Whittaker will have emergency surgery after pulling out of his middleweight title defence against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234.

A non-title middleweight bout between rising star Israel Adesanya (15-0) and Anderson Silva (34-8) will now headline UFC 234, which sold out in minutes when tickets first went on sale.

Gastelum will not remain on the card, with Israel Adesanya vs Anderson Silva elevated to the main event slot (still as a three-round fight) at Rod Laver Arena.

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A lightweight clash between Lando Vannata and Marcos Rosa Mariano that was originally scheduled for the Fight Pass prelims has been moved to the pay-per-view lineup.

On Saturday, Whittaker and Gastelum both made weight, with "The Reaper" coming in at 185-pounds and the American challenger at 184-pounds.

Silva, 43, broke into tears during the UFC 234 official weigh-in. Whittaker won a brutal split decision - his second win over Romero in a year.

The bout will determine the next contender to the title, likely after Whittaker defends vs. Gastelum.

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