Earlier this month, ESPN reported that a middleweight title fight between reigning champ Robert Whittaker and surging contender Kelvin Gastelum was headed to UFC 234 on February 10 in Melbourne, Australia (February 9 in North America).
The promotion has now made this booking official.
“Melbourne, here we come,” the promotion announced on Instagram. “Robert Whittaker returns to meet Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234, Feb. 9.”
This bout will be Whittaker’s first since a June war with Yoel Romero, which he won by split decision. While many fans consider this fight a successful title defense for Whittaker, it did not technically go down as a title fight as Romero missed weight for the bout.
In his next most recent bout, Whittaker captured the interim middleweight title with a decision win over Romero. He was then promoted to undisputed champion after Georges St-Pierre defeated Michael Bisping and vacated that title.
Whittaker is currently a strong 20-4 overall. Highlights of his record include defeats of Romero (twice), Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Derek Brunson, Rafael Natal, Uriah Hall, and Brad Tavares.
Kelvin Gastelum, meanwhile, last fought at UFC 224, when he picked up a split decision win over Jacare. In his next most recent fight, he delivered a violent first-round knockout of Michael Bisping. This win served to separate him from a submission loss to former champion Chris Weidman. Gastelum, a former welterweight just like Whittaker, is currently 15-3 in sum.
Ahead of their anticipated middleweight title fight, Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum have been serving as rival coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 28, where they have overseen a crop of heavyweight and women’s featherweight fighters.
Who do you think will win when Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum step into the cage at UFC 234 in February?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/13/2018.