Robert Whittaker has predicted how long it will take him to finish Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24. Whittaker believes he will stop Gastelum in round two of their fight.
Back in February 2019, then-UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was scheduled to defend his title against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234. Nevertheless, Whittaker was coerced into withdrawing from the fight just hours prior to the event.
Robert Whittaker had suffered a collapsed bowel and an internal hernia, which required emergency surgery. The fight between Whittaker and Gastelum was canceled and wasn’t rebooked in the ensuing time.
Fast-forward to 2021, when Robert Whittaker was booked to face Paulo Costa at UFC Vegas 24 (April 17th, 2021). This booking fell apart as Costa withdrew from the fight in mid-March, due to him dealing with COVID-19 and a severe flu. The UFC subsequently roped in Gastelum as Costa’s replacement and the Whittaker vs. Gastelum fight thereby ended up being rebooked.
Robert Whittaker recently spoke to MMA Junkie on a myriad of topics. Upon being asked for his prediction on how his UFC Vegas 24 fight against Kelvin Gastelum would play out, Robert Whittaker stated:
“Yeah, I’ll put him away in the second (round). That’s, yeah, that’s my prediction.”
Additionally, referencing the fact that Kelvin Gastelum has been in several grueling fights and taken a significant amount of damage in recent fights, the possibility of Gastelum’s durability having declined was discussed. Robert Whittaker addressed this and said:
“It’s hard to say. It’s hard to say. Yeah, it is too hard to say and predict. Yeah, all I know is that I’m going to go in this fight the best Rob Whittaker I’ve been. And I’m going into this fight very happy, and a happy Rob’s a dangerous one.” (*Video courtesy: MMA Junkie; H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Furthermore, Robert Whittaker emphasized that Kelvin Gastelum is a tough fighter and that he isn’t looking past him, reiterating his respect for Gastelum.
Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum have their sights set on UFC middleweight gold
Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum both have one loss respectively to current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. And it goes without saying that both middleweight stars would surely be aiming to avenge their loss by working their way back to a title shot and defeating Adesanya.
This makes the UFC Vegas 24 fight incredibly important for Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum, as the winner could compete in a No. 1 contender’s matchup or even get a title shot in their next octagon outing.
Check out here: Things to know about Robert Whittaker's Wife