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Twitter, Gastelum react to Robert Whittaker’s UFC 234 removal

The MMA world was thrown for a last-minute loop earlier today (Sat., Feb. 9, 2019) when it was announced that UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will not be defending his 185-pound this evening against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia, after suffering an injured hernia overnight.

The fallout is considerably significant because UFC 234’s pay-per-view (PPV) main card was lackluster to begin with, leaving the Aussie fans with little to get excited about. As a result of Whittaker’s removal, Anderson Silva vs. Israel Adesanya, which was originally slated as the co-main event, will now serve as UFC 234’s headlining act.

As you may have guessed, Whittaker’s injury has already sparked much conversation among the busy MMA social media fingers. Gastelum, who was expecting to compete in his first ever UFC title shot, offered the following statement via Instagram:

“With much sorrow I write that my fight for the middleweight title is off,” wrote Gastelum. “I’m sorry to everyone that was expecting this great fight, Family , friends and followers from around the world. God has a reason for doing things and I firmly believe his plans are much bigger and better than I can even imagine. I’m so torn about this situation. A lifetime of pursuit to be able to reach this level and I hope none of these efforts will go in vain. #andnew #OnAmission4Gold

The rest of the combat community weighed in via Twitter: will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 234 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

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