In the main event of UFC Vegas 24, we are going to see a pivotal matchup in the middleweight division. Former champion Robert Whittaker (22-5) is back as he takes on former interim title challenger Kelvin Gastelum (16-6, 1 NC).
Originally, these two were supposed to face each other at UFC 234 in 2019 for the middleweight title. The two coached against each other on The Ultimate Fighter and they were set to headline a PPV in Australia.
However, the night before the fight, Whittaker had to be rushed to the hospital with stomach issues. An emergency procedure kept Bobby Knuckles out of the title fight and Gastelum never got his shot at the UFC title.
Instead, Gastelum ended up facing Israel Adesanya a couple of months later for the interim title. Gastelum lost that fight and that started a three-fight losing streak for Gastelum inside the octagon.
However, at UFC 258 Gastelum got back on track with a win over Ian Heinisch. After Paulo Costa got sick and fell out of this main event slot against Whittaker, Gastelum jumped at the opportunity to try and get right back into title contention.
Bobby Knuckles lost his UFC middleweight title to Israel Adesanya. Since that loss, he’s taken out the top two contenders that Adesanya wanted to face. He defeated Darren Till and Jared Cannonier. If Whittaker wins at UFC Vegas 24, it’s hard to deny him of a rematch with Adesanya.
UFC Vegas 24 Preview
I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow night’s UFC main event. Again, this is a fight that is a couple of years in the making and I expect fireworks between the two middleweights tomorrow night.
One big key for me is going to be the kicks of Robert Whittaker. Both men have incredible fast hands, but it’s the kicks of the former UFC champion that could play a huge factor in tomorrow night’s outcome.
I also want to see if Gastelum can land any takedowns or if he can get any control along the fence. I believe he’s going to need to use some of his grappling skills if he wants to beat Whittaker tomorrow night.
Ultimately, I just don’t see Gastelum beating Whittaker. I love the overall game of the former middleweight champion and I think he’s going to get it done. Not just that, I think he becomes the first man to stop Gastelum via strikes at UFC Vegas 24.
Prediction: Robert Whittaker by TKO – Round 3