Adesanya vs Silva will be the co-main event of UFC 234, with Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker putting his title on the line against Kelvin Gastelum in the main event. The Aussie champ was diagnosed with a hernia and will undergo surgery later in the day, according to White.
UFC president Dana White stated that Whittaker began complaining of issues after weighing in Friday night and was taken to a local hospital.
Israel "Style Bender" Adesanya will look to improve his unblemished UFC record to 16-0 this Saturday, February 9, as he takes on veteran Anderson Silva at UFC 234 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.
ESPN's Ariel Helwani does not paint a pretty picture of what occurred that night, with Whittaker now in surgery.
Despite being elevated to the main event, Adesanya's bout will remain a three-round fight.
The loss of Whittaker, who is on a nine-fight win streak, will certainly be a massive disappointment for many fans with UFC 234 tickets. The first title defense was scheduled for UFC 225 but the match became a non-title fight after Romero missed weight.
Whittaker praised Gastelum as a challenger and even called him "one of the most unsafe fighters to date".
The Sydney-based star has experienced a horror run of injuries and illness throughout his career, including a gruesome abscess infection which forced him to pull out of UFC 221 in 2018.
With next to no time to find a replacement for Whittaker all the way out in Australia, UFC 234 turned to its old superstar in Silva to headline the event.