BREAKING: Kelvin Gastelum Steps in on Short Notice to Take on Robert Whittaker on April 17th

Published 03/17/2021, 12:38 AM EDT


A little over two years on from the last time they were supposed to fight, Kelvin Gastelum and Robert Whittaker will run it back at UFC Fight Night next month on April 17th. ‘The Reaper’ was initially set to take on Paulo Costa. However, a setback forced ‘Borrachinha’ out of the fight. 

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The UFC quickly found a replacement in Kelvin Gastelum, who will take on the former champion. The two men are not strangers to each other. They were coaches on The Ultimate Fighter season 28 and were scheduled to fight for the middleweight belt at UFC 234. 

However, on the morning of the fight, Whittaker was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery and could not defend his belt. Gastelum then lost the interim title fight against Israel Adesanya.

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Can Kelvin Gastelum extend his win streak to 2-0?

It has not been all smooth sailing for Gastelum in his past few fights. From April 2019 to July 2020 he suffered three back-to-back losses against the likes of ‘The Last Stylebender’, Jack Hermansson, and Darren Till

Going into his last fight against Ian Heinisch, he felt that he was fighting for his UFC career and felt that a loss would result in him being cut from the promotion. However, Gastelum put on a fantastic display and secured an impressive unanimous decision win to bounce back from a three-fight skid. 

The Reaper’ on the other hand had a very active and successful 2020. After losing his belt to Adesanya in 2019, ‘Bobby Knuckles’ came back stronger in 2020. He secured two impressive unanimous decision wins against the likes of Darren Till and Jared Cannonier. 

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The fight between the two men will have massive implications on the title picture at 185-pounds. If ‘The Reaper’ were to win, he would most definitely be next in line for a title shot after a 3-0 win streak. 

If Gastelum were to win, he would move up to 2-0 and possibly set himself up for a title eliminator. Either way, the fight between Gastelum and Whittaker is an extremely interesting bout and one that the fans will love. 

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Kevin Binoy

839 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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