The former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (23-5 MMA, 14-3 UFC) easily defeated Kelvin Gastelum (17-7 MMA, 11-7 UFC) in their last night’s matchup. Whittaker won via unanimous decision, 50-45, 50-45, 50-45, posting his third success in a row following a loss against Israel Adesanya.
This comes as the ultimate proof that the fighter from New Zealand deserves a shot to regain his belt, which he himself mentioned after the battle.
“I think it’s time we crossed paths again,” Whittaker stated on the idea of meeting Adesanya.
The Reaper was more than dominant on Saturday night, using the entire arsenal and quickly dismantling Gastelum. Even though the American stayed on his feet until the end, there was no doubt about the final result after round two.
Whittaker punishes his rival constantly, opening the match with a powerful head kick, and never slowing down after the same. The former champ did everything in the octagon, wrestled, grappled, boxed, even showed some ground and pound action.
On the other side, each time Gastelum tried to change the situation and inflict some damage, he would end up eating a few hits. This was arguably one of the toughest matches in his career. The exclamation point on all of his suffering was Whittaker’s front kick in the fifth which ended on Gastelum’s face.
This is the fourth defeat in the latest five matches the American had, losing the first one to Adesanya in what was an interim title match. After that, Darren Till defeated him via a split decision and then Jack Hermansson. A breath of fresh air for Gastelum was a success against Ian Heinisch.
Whittaker now has three triumphs in a row, vs Till, Cannonier, and now Gastelum. He is the No.1 challenger in the middleweight, and according to all the experts and insiders, the Kiwi should get a chance to regain his title until the end of the year.
Adesanya is free, and apart from Marvin Vettori, there aren’t any other names that might jump into the equation. But having in mind that the hype surrounding Whittaker is much bigger, it is logical that UFC picks him over the Italian. Not only is he a former champion, but he lost the title directly to Izzy.
The next big event takes place on the following Saturday, the UFC 261, with the headliner Usman vs Masvidal.