UFC champion Robert Whittaker released a statement, via his management team, following the UFC 234 near ‘fatal’ health scare that saw him forced from the card.
Just hours before the UFC 234 event was set to kick off news broke that UFC 234 headliner and current UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was forced out of his bout with Kelvin Gastelum due to a health emergency.
Reports said that Whittaker began feeling ill after weigh-ins and after consulting doctors was told to head the emergency room where a dangerous hernia was discovered that needed immediate surgery.
Now, just moments before the new UFC 234 main event was set to air Whittaker’s management released a statement via his official Facebook page.
“On behalf of Rob, we would like to update fans on his condition,” the statement reads. “Last night at roughly 9pm Rob began feeling intense abdominal pains that were brought to the attention of the UFC doctors. After several hours of observation, he was admitted to the hospital at 3 am. Rob is just out of dual surgery for a twisted and collapsed bowel in addition to an internal hernia of the intestine and will be recovering in hospital for several days. Rob will want to speak directly to his fans when he can. Rob is devastated that today’s fight will not go ahead. Up until 5 minutes before going into surgery Rob was insisting he would fight, but advice was that a blow to his stomach could be fatal. Rob will come back stronger and ready for what is to come. Thanks to the UFC, Kelvin and his team or your professionalism.”
The co-main event, a bout between Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya was moved to the main event time slot.
UFC 234 took place on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your live results and highlights throughout the night.