This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 24, Robert Whittaker (23-5) and Kelvin Gastelum (16-7, 1 NC) headlined the card. This fight was two years in the making after their first fight fell through at UFC 234.
Whittaker and Gastelum coached opposite each other on The Ultimate Fighter and were set to fight for the middleweight title. However, the morning of UFC 234, Whittaker had to have emergency surgery and the fight was called off.
Two years later, the two men finally met inside the octagon. In a pure striking match, I figured Whittaker would have the advantage. Outside of the middleweight champion, it’s hard to defeat Robert Whittaker on the feet with his diverse attack and speed.
Gastelum was just a step behind at UFC Vegas 24. He would hit Whittaker throughout the evening, but for the most part, he was getting touched up by the former champion. Bobby Knuckles noticeably wobbled Gastelum on a couple of occasions.
On a night where most of the fights were slow at UFC Vegas 24, this one delivered. These two stood and traded all night, but as mentioned, Whittaker always got the best of it and the former champion walked away with a clean sweep on the scorecards.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 24?
After UFC Vegas 24, there is only one fight for Robert Whittaker. That fight would be a rematch with the current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (20-1). There is nothing left for Whittaker to prove.
Whittaker was knocked out by Adesanya at UFC 243 in 2019. It was the first and still is the only loss Whittaker has ever suffered at middleweight. Adesanya expressed interest in fighting Darren Till and Jared Cannonier in 2020.
Well, Whittaker took both of them out. Now, after a dominant win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24, Bobby Knuckles has won three straight. It’s time that the UFC puts together a rematch and perhaps they could do it in Australia or New Zealand again in front of a packed house.