Sonnen, Cerrone Offer To Save UFC 234’s Main Event
If Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) had a little more time to handle middleweight champion Robert Whittaker’s last-minute removal from tonight’s (Sat., Feb. 9, 2019) main event title fight at UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia, maybe they could have found a replacement to fight Kelvin Gastelum.
Unfortunately, Whittaker suffered a hernia injury overnight and gave the promotion zero opportunity to work its magic. Instead, Anderson Silva vs. Israel Adesanya will serve as the main event of the evening as Gastelum packs his bags and heads back to the States.
Had UFC been given enough time to bust out the combat Rolodex and call on some familiar faces, fight fans could have been in for one hell of a treat. That’s because Donald Cerrone and Chael Sonnen both offered to step up and save UFC 234’s main event.
Cerrone, who is currently in Australia for some McGregor-related business, messaged UFC president Dana White to let him know he’s ready to roll:
Well I’m in Australia @danawhite “ I know a guy!! “— Cowboy Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) February 9, 2019
The next fighter to throw his hat into the ring was none other than Sonnen. The current Bellator MMA fighter and color commentator has already fought Silva twice in his career (both losses) and was more than happy to step in on short notice for the trilogy. Sonnen, who is in Australia for his ESPN duties, even got Bellator’s blessing:
On ESPN Radio, @ChaelSonnen tells @arielhelwani that Bellator has given him permission to step in and face Anderson Silva if the UFC wants to do Kelvin Gastelum vs. Israel Adesanya.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) February 9, 2019
Chael says that he requires a mouthpiece, gloves and an XXXL size cup.
Imagine that for a moment.
Unfortunately, neither one of these wild scenarios played out as UFC 234 will now proceed without a title fight and with a three-round main event. It’s not ideal, especially since the undisputed UFC middleweight title hasn’t been officially on the line since Michael Bisping lost his 185-pound strap to Georges St-Pierre back at UFC 217, but at least we still get Silva vs. Adesanya.
MMAmania.com 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.