Hernia leads to late Whittaker scratch at UFC 234

3:27 PM ET Brett OkamotoESPN Staff Writer Close MMA columnist for ESPN.com Analyst for "MMA Live" Covered MMA for Las Vegas Sun Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email print MELBOURNE, Australia -- An abdominal hernia has forced UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker out of his highly anticipated title defense against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234, just hours before doors were scheduled to open at Rod Laver Arena.

UFC president Dana White told ESPN that Whittaker complained of pain in his abdomen late last night, and was taken to a local hospital.

The Aussie champ was diagnosed with a hernia and will undergo surgery later Sunday, according to White.

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