Robert Whittaker, Kelvin Gastelum make weight for UFC 234 title bout

Kiwi Israel Adesanya will now be headlining UFC 234 in Melbourne on Sunday against Anderson Silva

UFC 234 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia drew a reported sold out crowd of 15,238 for a gate of $3,484,855 (AUD). Light heavyweight Jimmy Crute scored a controversial TKO win against American Sam Alvey, despite Alvey furiously protesting the referee's decision to end the fight early as he insisted his thumbs were up while Crute was ground-and-pounding him.

Kelvin Gastelum, with a title belt draped over his shoulder, called himself "the champ" when speaking with media at UFC 234 on Sunday in Melbourne, Australia. "The Reaper" was beset with scary abdominal issues the night before the fight, however. Whittaker was forced to pull out of the bout Saturday due to emergency surgery on his bowel and abdomen. But he soon changed his tune after arriving at UFC 234. I mean, I showed up, traveled thousands and thousands of miles from home, made the weight. The guy forfeits the match.

Unfortunately for him, that's not how things work at the highest levels of the UFC, however. Conor McGregor who was watching from afar was impelled to pay his regards to Silva, whilst requesting a "passing of the guard" moment all their own.

"I saw, that was cute".

Earlier in the week UFC President Dana White confirmed that the victor of the bout would be next in line for a middleweight title shot, however with Whittaker's withdrawal, Adesanya will likely have to wait for the dust to settle between Gastelum and Whittaker. Some might argue that Adesanya hasn't been truly tested yet, and needs to fight a genuine top-five contender like Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman or Ronaldo Souza before he gets his title shot, but there is no doubt that his future is very bright in the UFC.

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As for what comes next, it's almost impossible to say after Whittaker was forced into surgery that may keep him sidelined for several weeks or perhaps even months.

"He's in great shape and let's see how long it takes him to recover from this, and we'll make something as fast as we can".

"Time is not your friend in this business".

"Hopefully they popped it back in and sewed it up and if that's the case, he'll be four weeks (out of action) but this was a freak, freak injury less than one per cent. It's never fun to strip someone of the title, they worked hard to get there, so it's never fun".

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