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UFC Vegas 24 injury report: Will Robert Whittaker have to wait long for medical clearance?

Kelvin Gastelum (left); Robert Whittaker (right)
Kelvin Gastelum (left); Robert Whittaker (right)
Johny Payne
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 21 Apr 2021
News

No. Robert Whittaker won’t have to wait long for a medical clearance after his UFC Vegas 24 fight.

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was involved in a grueling five-round fight against fellow elite middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum. Whittaker faced Gastelum in the headline matchup of UFC Vegas 24 (April 17th, 2021) and put on what many believe is one of the best performances of his MMA career.

The Reaper consistently out-worked Kelvin Gastelum over the course of their intense and highly technical showdown. Robert Whittaker impressed the vast majority of MMA fans and experts with his dominant display. Nevertheless, speculation has subsequently arisen as to whether the tough fight could keep Whittaker out of action due to any damage he’d taken in it.

Thankfully, it’s now been revealed that Robert Whittaker is likely to miss out on only a month of action after his UFC Vegas 24 fight.


UFC Vegas 24 medical suspensions

UFC Vegas 24 transpired at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, under the purview of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). As reported by mixedmartialarts.com, the list of medical suspensions handed down by the NSAC after UFC Vegas 24 is as follows:

1. Robert Whittaker: Suspended until May 18th, no contact until May 9th (hard fight).

2. Kelvin Gastelum: Suspended until May 18th, no contact until May 9th (right eyelid laceration).

3. Andrei Arlovski: Suspended until May 18th, no contact until May 9th (hard fight).

4. Chase Sherman: Must receive clearance from orthopedic doctor on positive result from MRI on left knee and/or X-rays on right foot and right tibia/fibula, or no contest until October 15th. Minimum suspension no contest until May 18th, no contact until May 18th.

5. Jacob Malkoun: Suspended until May 9th, no contact until May 2nd.

6. Abdul Razak Alhassan: Suspended until May 18th, no contact until May 9th.

7. Tracy Cortez: Suspended until May 9th, no contact until May 2nd.

8. Justine Kish: Suspended until May 9th, no contact until May 2nd.

9. Luis Pena: Must receive clearance from orthopedic doctor on positive result from X-ray on left hand, or no contest until October 15th. Minimum suspension no contest until May 18th, no contact until May 9th.

10. Alex Munoz: Suspended until May 9th, no contact until May 2nd.

11. Alexander Romanov: Suspended until May 18th, no contact until May 9th.

12. Juan Espino: Must receive clearance from orthopedic doctor on positive result from MRI on right elbow, or no contest until October 15th.

13. Jessica Penne: Suspended until May 18th, no contact until May 9th (left eyebrow laceration).

14. Bartosz Fabinski: Suspended until May 18th, no contact until May 9th (laceration under right eye).

15. Austin Hubbard: Suspended until May 9th, no contact until May 2nd.

16. Dakota Bush: Suspended until May 2nd, no contact until April 25th.

17. Anthony Birchak: Suspended until June 2nd, no contact until May 18th.

Furthermore, the lightweight bout between Jeremy Stephens and Drakkar Klose was canceled after Klose suffered an injury at the weigh-in face-offs. As reported by ESPN MMA's Ariel Helwani, Klose suffered a concussion and a cervical sprain of the neck due to Stephens shoving him at the weigh-in face-offs.


Robert Whittaker is likely to receive the next shot at the UFC middleweight title

Robert Whittaker lost his UFC middleweight title via second-round KO against Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 (October 2019). Since his loss to Adesanya, Whittaker has amassed an impressive three-fight win streak, with a trio of wins coming against top-tier middleweights.

Robert Whittaker bested Darren Till via unanimous decision at UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till (July 26th, 2020), beat Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision at UFC 254 (October 24th, 2020), and then beat Kelvin Gastelum via unanimous decision at UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Gastelum (April 17th, 2021).

The MMA community was recently rife with speculation that Italian middleweight star Marvin Vettori could be next in line for a shot at the UFC middleweight title. Vettori is coming off an impressive win over Kevin Holland and has been campaigning for a rematch against current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

However, with Robert Whittaker’s masterful performance against Kelvin Gastelum, the consensus is that Whittaker, not Vettori, is likely to receive the next title shot at middleweight gold.

Do you see Robert Whittaker avenging his loss and reclaiming the UFC middleweight title in a potential rematch against Israel Adesanya? Sound off in the comments.

Published 21 Apr 2021
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