The entire mixed martial arts (MMA) universe was handed a shocking change when Robert Whittaker pulled out of his main event with Kelvin Gastelum at last night’s (Feb. 9, 2019) UFC 234. Now, some details have emerged concerning Whittaker’s concerning injury.
The middleweight champ was thrust into emergency surgery for a hernia and twisted bowels. He had abdominal pain the night before the fight and began vomiting. Apparently, he wanted to fight, but a blow to the midsection was potentially fatal. His team released a statement on how he fell ill during the pay-per-view card last night.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani released an update on the champ’s status today. Whittaker is still recovering from the emergency surgery in a Melbourne hospital. He stated it was a complicated procedure that lasted three-and-a-half hours:
UFC President Dana White claimed Whittaker would be better in four to six weeks, but Helwani said there was no realistic timeline yet. That was due to the “serious and complicated” nature of the surgery:
Yet as White also said, time isn’t necessarily on Whittaker’s side in terms of creating an interim title.