After dominant win at UFC Vegas 24, what’s next for Robert Whittaker?

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.

UFC Vegas 24 Preview: Robert Whittaker – Kelvin Gastelum

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

UFC 254 Preview: Robert Whittaker vs Jared Cannonier

The co-main event of UFC 254 features a fantastic matchup in the middleweight division. Former champion, Robert Whittaker (21-5), will be taking on the Killa Gorilla, Jared Cannonier (13-4), for the top contender spot in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

For Whittaker, it’s a pretty quick turn around from his last fight back at UFC Fight Island 3. That night saw Whittaker take on and defeat Darren Till by unanimous decision. It was Whittaker’s first fight since losing the UFC middleweight title.

Bobby Knuckles entered the UFC in the welterweight division, however, his career took off when he moved to middleweight. Whittaker started his middleweight run 9-0 with wins over guys like Yoel Romero, Jacare Souza, Derek Brunson, and Uriah Hall.

He became the first UFC champion from Australia. However, Whittaker felt himself getting burned out. Then last year at UFC 243, Israel Adesanya knocked Whittaker out. Since then, Whittaker has rededicated himself to the sport and he’s trying to get his belt back.

Jared Cannonier is competing in his third weight class inside the UFC. He entered the promotion as a heavyweight. Then he transitioned to light heavyweight before ultimately moving down to middleweight which is his best weight class.

Since moving to middleweight, Cannonier is 3-0 with three stoppages. He’s finished Jack Hermansson, Anderson Silva, and David Branch since dropping down. He’s a terrifying force for the middleweight division and carries a ton of power.

UFC 254 Prediction

Tomorrow’s co-main event is going to be so much fun to watch. It’s going to be extremely entertaining, and I’m very torn on who I see winning at UFC 254. I think if you look at their skillsets overall, I lean towards Bobby Knuckles.

Whittaker’s game overall is fantastic, but his striking is where he shines. However, his chin really does scare me in this contest. Whittaker has been dropped in all four of his last UFC contests. That is something that cannot be ignored especially in this fight.

Cannonier had knockout power at heavyweight. It’s safe to say that he’s brought that knockout power with him down to the UFC‘s middleweight division. I think Whittaker makes sense on paper, but I have a feeling Cannonier is going to land something big tomorrow afternoon.

Prediction: Jared Cannonier by TKO – Round 2