Kelvin Gastelum unimpressed by Robert Whittaker, predicts first-round KO win

Robert Whittaker, Kelvin Gastelum
Image: UFC on Instagram

Kelvin Gastelum is not all that impressed with UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, who he’ll meet in the main event of UFC 234 this weekend in Melbourne.

“Obviously, he’s a champion for a reason,” Gastelum told MMAjunkie. “He comes in with a lot of tools, but I’m in the gym constantly with guys that are just as good if not better than Rob, every single day, and that gives me confidence.

“He’s a competitor, and he wins fights. He doesn’t necessarily bring a lot of special skills to the table. I’ve had 14, 15 fights in the UFC. I’ve been through a lot of obstacles, seen a lot of styles, seen a lot of different fighters – trained with a lot of different fighters, fought a lot of different fighters – and so I just don’t think he brings anything special to the table. But I can’t underestimate him or his abilities.”

Kelvin Gastelum isn’t just expecting to beat Robert Whittaker. As he’s said previously, he’s expecting to knock him out in the first round.

“When I say things like, ‘I’m going to knock him out in the first round,’ I mean it, but I’m ready for a 25-minute war,” Gastelum said. “But when I see Rob, I just see hard work. I see a lot of heart. I see a lot of will. Just like me – I don’t bring a lot of special abilities like, let’s say, Israel Adesanya. He has a special talent. I’m not necessarily the greatest striker or the greatest wrestler or the greatest jiu-jitsu guy. I’m just in there to win fights, and that’s what I think that Rob is good at, too.”

Do you think Kelvin Gastelum is taking the champ Robert Whittaker lightly?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/5/2019.