Robert Whittaker will meet Kelvin Gastelum in a five-round main-event on 17 April inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The former middleweight champion was scheduled to face Paulo Costa in the main event, however, the Brazilian fighter pulled out after catching flu. However, Gastelum stepped in on short notice and a win for the former interim title challenger could plummet him back to the title picture.
Meanwhile, Robert Whittaker is coming off back-to-back impressive wins over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier. Whittaker is already the top-rank fighter in the division, with wins over the top-ranked opponent. Needless to say, a statement win over Kelvin Gastelum, it will be hard to deny him a rematch against Israel Adesanya.
Ahead of the match-up, let’s break down the fight to come to a reasonable prediction on who gets his hand raised on 17 April at UFC Vegas 24.
Robert Whittaker vs Kelvin Gastelum breakdown
Robert Whittaker has shown significant improvements in the last few fights. Since losing to Adesanya, Whittaker has looked more complete inside the Octagon. He has started to mix his game well. Whittaker’s performance against Till was testimony he can take on the finest strikers that the division has to offer. Whittaker was able to neutralize the right hand of Darren Till by his varied attacks, which involved knee stomps and occasional takedown attempts.
Meanwhile, Kelvin Gastelum looked incredible in his last fight against Ian Heinisch and showed great improvements from his previous fights. Gastelum made more use of his wrestling skills than we have even seen him before. Needless to say, he will look to upset Whittaker’s UFC return and get his hands at a potential rematch against the Stylebender.
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It’s an exciting match-up, but it looks like Robert Whittaker will have the edge going into the fight. While Gastelum has looked good, Whittaker poses huge problems for the former interim title challenger. The Reaper’s unorthodox movements and his ability to mix the game will be a huge factor going into the fight. Additionally, Whittaker’s high kicks and his work on the legs might just end up being the key to his victory Saturday night.
Robert Whittaker vs Kelvin Gastelum prediction: Robert Whittaker by TKO in the Third Round