Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is all set to take on Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC on ESPN 22 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum were initially booked to fight at UFC 234 in February of 2019 at the Rod Lavar Arena in Melbourne, Australia. The fight had to be cancelled after Robert Whittaker pulled out the fight with a hernia and twisted bowl.
Kelvin Gastelum then fought Israel Adesanya at UFC 236 in one of the best fights of 2019 and lost via decision. Since then Kelvin went 2-1 in the UFC with his most recent win coming against Ian Heinisch at UFC 258 last month.
Whittaker lost his middleweight title to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 and then went on to defeat Darren Till at UFC on ESPN 14 and then Jared Cannonier at UFC 254.
Robert Whittaker confident of beating Kelvin Gastelum
Ahead of the fight, Robert Whittaker told MMAJunkie that he is confident of beating Kelvin Gastelum and also predicted that he will finish him in the second round.
“I think I’m going to be too much for him,” Robert Whittaker told MMA Junkie. “My striking is too crisp. I think it’s too fast. I think I’ve got too many weapons. He may try to take me down a couple of times and I only think it’ll work to his detriment because it’s a five-round fight and wrestling takes it out of you.
“I think I put him away in the second,” Robert Whittaker continued. “All I know is I’m going to go into this fight the best Robert Whittaker I’ve been. And, I’m going into this fight very happy – and a happy Rob is a very dangerous one.”
“Because I had been scheduled to fight him before, I had a lot of the work in the bank for him,” Whittaker said. “So I’m familiar with his fight style and his different habits. But also, I’ve fought a lot of southpaws. Till was a southpaw, so I was able to adjust relatively quickly.
“Honestly, there’s no fight I look forward to. There’s no fight I particularly want to run or anything like that. I’ll fight whoever I’m supposed to. Whoever they put into the ring with me, I’ll go at. I do feel like I owe him a fight because we were supposed to fight and it fell through, so the fact that we get to cross paths now is better late than never.” (H/T – MMAJunkie.com)
Here’s the lineup for the fight card:
- Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum
- Bartosz Fabinski vs. Gerald Meerschaert
- Parker Porter vs. Chase Sherman
- Tracy Cortez vs. Justine Kish
- Tony Gravely vs. Nate Maness
- Austin Hubbard vs. Natan Levy
- Drakkar Klose vs. Jeremy Stephens
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