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.