Hol­ly­wood heavyweights but no head­line act for UFC

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News - NICK WALSHAW

HOL­LY­WOOD megas­tars Matt Da­mon and Chris Hemsworth were in the house at UFC 234 yes­ter­day — but the head­line act was no­tice­ably ab­sent.

Two of the world’s big­gest celebri­ties were left dis­ap­pointed when Aus­tralian UFC champ Robert Whit­taker — the fighter both men had ar­rived at Mel­bourne’s Rod Laver Arena to see — was forced out of his ti­tle block­buster on home soil af­ter be­ing rushed to hos­pi­tal for emer­gency surgery.

Whit­taker was hos­pi­talised about 3am yes­ter­day with a twisted and col­lapsed bowel, plus an in­ter­nal her­nia of the in­tes­tine. Ac­cord­ing to his team, the Syd­ney fa­ther-of-three was still want­ing to take the bout un­til five min­utes be­fore he un­der­went dual surg­eries.

How­ever, UFC pres­i­dent Dana White later re­vealed sur­geons had told the champ shortly be­fore go­ing un­der the knife that, had he fought Amer­i­can chal­lenger Kelvin Gastelum, a blow to the stom­ach could have proved fa­tal. De­spite the can­cel­la­tion, bud­dies Hemsworth and Da­mon were still ca­ge­side along­side a host of other celebri­ties in­clud­ing box­ing great Jeff Fenech, Bris­bane Bron­cos coach An­thony Sei­bold, and Par­a­lympian Dy­lan Al­cott.

Only a hand­ful of fans took up an of­fer for a re­fund.

Matt Da­mon.

Chris Hemsworth.

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