Robert Whittaker is expecting a tough fight with Kelvin Gastelum on Saturday night.
Whittaker and Gastelum are set to headline UFC Vegas 24 in a very intriguing middleweight bout. Originally, Whittaker was set to face Paulo Costa but a month out, the Brazilian pulled out of the fight and Gastelum stepped in on short notice.
For Whittaker, he knows the two are very different fighters but is glad he had a few weeks to prepare for Gastelum.
“Fortunately, I was given a month to (prepare), and I had previously camped for Gastelum, as well,” Whittaker said at media day (via MMAJunkie). “Both things just lead up into my favor with actually accepting the change, but also I’ve had fights recently with southpaws, so it’s not too much of a stretch, too different. Obviously, stylistically Gastelum and Costa are two very different fighters, but it is what it is.”
Not only did Whittaker get a few weeks of training, but the two were supposed to fight in 2019. But, on the day of the fight, the Aussie pulled out of the fight. Since then, “The Reaper” knows he has gotten much better and is excited to show that on Saturday.
“The real thing is I’m a very different beast than I was back then,” Whittaker said. “I feel like from a technical point of view, I’m a much more complete athlete. But, as well as the mental game, which only reinforces all of that. It’s just never been better.”
Although Robert Whittaker believes he has gotten better, he knows Gastelum has too, so he’s expecting a tough fight. He knows the American is very durable and has a ton of power, so the former champ expects their fight to be a war.
“I’m hoping I can go out and dominate him, but I’m expecting an absolute war,” Whittaker said. “We’re both very well-rounded. He’s got dangerous power. He can wrestle, grapple. He’s tough as nails. I can do the same. Yeah, I expect the worst, hope for the best.”
Whittaker enters the fight riding a two-fight winning streak and will likely earn a rematch with Israel Adesanya with a win.
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