UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker’s last two fights — both of which pitted him against Yoel Romero — have been absolute wars. In these fights, both he and Romero sustained incredible amounts of punishment, yet they both somehow managed to survive to the final bell each time.
In the opinion of Kelvin Gastelum, who served as a coach opposite Robert Whittaker on the latest episode of The Ultimate Fighter, and will battle the champion sometime in the new year, Whittaker might not be the same after these wars with Romero. Gastelum opined on this topic at a July media scrum.
“I don’t know if he’s going to be the same fighter after these fights,” Kelvin Gastelum said of Robert Whittaker. “These wars that he’s been in, it takes a toll on the body, so we’ll see how he comes out after this hand surgery.”
Whittaker, in an unsurprising twist, wholly disagrees with these comments from his upcoming opponent Gastelum.
“I’d like to think that I’m one of the few guys who hasn’t been in a lot of wars,” Robert Whittaker told reporters at a recent media day (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I haven’t been hit that much. My last couple fights have been pretty hard, but look at the opponents and the caliber I’m going up against.
“I think he’s telling himself that to make himself feel better,” Whittaker added. “Because there are some bad guys out there that couldn’t put me away, that couldn’t touch me, and I walked through them.”
How do you think Robert Whittaker will perform when he battles Kelvin Gastelum in the new year? Do you think we’ll see any ill-effects from his battles with Yoel Romero?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/4/2018.