09 Feb - 
Kelvin Gastelum releases statement on canceled UFC 234 title fight: 'I'm so torn'

Kelvin Gastelum is trying to put a positive spin on losing his chance to fight for the middleweight title at UFC 234.

Gastelum (16-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) will no longer be challenging Robert Whittaker (20-4 MMA, 11-2 UFC) after the champion pulled out of UFC 234 due to a hernia issue that developed overnight and required “emergency surgery.”

“The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner has been working for a chance at UFC gold for a long time. He’s naturally disappointed over the news, but said in his first statement that he’s trying to keep faith that all will work out for the best (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

With much sorrow I write that my fight for the middleweight title is off. 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

With the title fight off, UFC 234, which takes place at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass, will see Israel Adesanya (15-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) fight Anderson Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC) in the new main event.

Gastelum’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, appeared on ESPN Radio following the news of Whittaker’s withdrawal and said he believes his client will be compensated by the UFC brass.

What remains for Gastelum’s future outside of that, though, remains to be seen. But for now, he’s wishing Whittaker a speedy recovery (via Twitter):

For more on UFC 234, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.