Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Whittaker out of fight vs. Gastelum at UFC 234

Whittaker out of fight vs. Gastelum at UFC 234

While White admits there are no immediate plans for the UFC to return to Australia, he says there's no reason another title fight can't take place Down Under later in 2019.

Whittaker was forced out of his UFC 234 main event bout opposite Kelvin Gastelum after requiring urgent surgery on Sunday morning.

Previously, UFC officials had stated the victor of the new main event between Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva would be declared the No. 1 contender. The expectation going into the fight was it should be relatively easy for someone like Adesanya to finish Silva, but that didn't happen.

White would not speculate about whether an interim championship would be created and said that he projects Whittaker will be able to resume training in four weeks.

But in the case of Israel Adesanya squaring up with his idol, legendary MMA fighter Anderson Silva, the spike of attention ended up benefitting him the most. This is awesome. What a great round. "That first round was like Kung Fu movie". "It was a fun fight to watch, very fun, with two guys who are incredibly talented".

Silva was making his first appearance since 2017 - a milestone that brought the 43-year-old Brazilian icon to tears on the eve of the bout.

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Silva enjoyed some success in a more competitive second round, nailing the younger man with some punches.

When the judges returned their scorecards, Adesanya earned the victory with a 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 unanimous decision to move to 16-0 in his mixed martial arts career. It's out of their hands, you know, sometimes it's not in their control.

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"This is like, if I'm playing basketball, to play against Michael Jordan".

Adesanya has been chasing a trans-Tasman fight with Whittaker and the Nigerian-born fighter was booed by the Australian crowd when he referenced Whittaker as "not turning up to work". White confirmed that Adesanya vs. Silva was supposed to be a No. 1 contender fight at 185 pounds. After Whittaker and challenger Kelvin Gastelum successfully made weight Friday, Whittaker began having abdominal pains.

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