The former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and Kevin Gastelum will finally go head-to-head on 18th April in the main event at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
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Robert Whittaker and Kevin Gastelum were supposed to face each other for the middleweight title at the main event of UFC 243 back in February 2019. Sadly, The Reaper, Whittaker, had to withdraw from the fight at the last moment as it was identified that he was suffering from a hernia and was hospitalized a night before the fight. Since then, every UFC fan has been waiting for these two superstars to go head-to-head.
UFC Vegas 24 will finally witness one of the biggest and most awaited fights in the middleweight division where the world’s #1 contender Robert Whittaker takes on Kevin Gastelum who is ranked #8 currently. Initially, the bout was going to take place between The Reaper and #2 contender Paulo Costa. But the 29-year-old had to withdraw from the fight due to illness and Gastelum stepped up to replace him.
Whittaker who has a UFC record of 23 – 5 – 0 lost his title to Israel Adesanya on his return at UFC 243 when The Last Stylebender scored a second-round KO to win the title. Since then The Reaper has bounced back, winning his next two fights against Daren Till and Jared Cannonier, both by unanimous decision. These victories meant that he was inching closer and closer to the title too!
As for Gastelum, he too lost to Adesanya at UFC 236 in an interim title fight. This defeat started Kevin’s losing streak as he went on to lose to Daren Till by a split decision after three rounds at UFC 244 and then to Jack Hermansson by a first-round submission at UFC Fight Island 2. The 29-year-old finally got back to winning ways after defeating Ian Heinisch by a unanimous decision at UFC 258.
Whittaker has the advantage in this bout as he has the range to cause Gastelum some real problems but at the same time, Gastelum could work his classic one-two’s and fast strikes to close the gap. The winner of this fight could possibly have a shot at the title against the Champ Israel Adesanya which makes it even more interesting and adds a bit more spice to this highly anticipated fight.
[Image Credit: UFC & MMA Israel]