Robert Whittaker is well aware Kelvin Gastelum is a very tough fight for him.
In the main event of UFC Vegas 24 on April 17, Whittaker is finally set to fight Gastelum. The No. 8 ranked middleweight is taking the fight on short notice after Paulo Costa was forced out of the scrap due to illness. It’s a very intriguing matchup given Gastelum was supposed to challenge Whittaker for the middleweight title a couple years ago. However, on the day of the fight, the champ was forced out of the matchup.
Now, two years later the two will finally meet but the circumstances are much different. Whittaker is no longer the champ but he is on a two-fight winning streak. Gastelum, meanwhile, snapped his three-fight losing skid back at UFC 258. But, despite his recent skid, Whittaker knows Gastelum is a very dangerous opponent.
“Certainly, I think he is one of my hardest fights to date,” Whittaker said to Submission Radio. “I think he is a very good fighter. I think people look too much into his recent losses and it takes away from how good he actually is.”
Robert Whittaker certainly has a point that Gastelum’s recent losses have taken away from how good he is. His three losses were to Israel Adesanya, a super close fight until the fifth round, a split decision loss to top contender Darren Till, and a quick submission loss to veteran Jack Hermansson. However, he still has the one-punch KO power that shut Michael Bisping’s lights off and he could do the same to Whittaker here.
If Whittaker beats Gastelum on April 17, it is uncertain if a title shot would be next. Israel Adesanya has said he wants to face Darren Till, but Whittaker would be on a three-fight winning streak since the loss against three top contenders and he no doubt deserves the shot. But, before that even happens, he will need to win and prove he remains one of the best middleweights in the world.
Who do you think will win, Robert Whittaker or Kelvin Gastelum?This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM