Dan Hooker Expects Robert Whittaker To Dominate Kelvin Gastelum and Rematch Israel Adesanya

Published 04/15/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 09: Robert Whittaker of New Zealand celebrates after defeating Yoel Romero of Cuba by split decision in their middleweight fight during the UFC 225 event at the United Center on June 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Robert Whittaker has been building his case as the undisputed top contender for the Middleweight Championship for a while. He first beat Darren Till in a competitive decision win, before getting a convincing win over Jared Cannonier. However, he still took a high-risk fight against Paulo Costa to make his bid for the title iron-clad.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, Costa fell out and he will face his old foe, Kelvin Gastelum. They were scheduled to face each other in 2018, but Whittaker had to pull out. Dan Hooker believes that Whittaker is going to dominate Gastelum while revealing that he is a massive fan of ‘Bobby Knuckles’.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“I’m a big reaper fan. I’m a Robert Whittaker fan, I’m going with my boy Rob all the way. I think he’s gonna just outmuscle him without class. Kelvin has looked pretty flat in his last few fights. Ron’s looked good and looked sharp. Yeah, I’m looking for Rob to dominate that fight.”

Hooker also commented on Whittaker being the next contender for Israel Adesanya. “I know Izzy wants to fight and get right back in there. I feel if Rob wins again, which I feel like he will, that’s the fight to make. Rob vs Israel Adesanya II.”

Robert Whittaker: Is he next in line for the title shot?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 13: (L-R) UFC President Dana White places the interim middleweight championship belt on Israel Adesanya after defeating Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision in their interim middleweight championship bout during the UFC 236 event at State Farm Arena on April 13, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Robert Whittaker lost to Israel Adesanya in convincing fashion when the pair met in 2019. That is when Adesanya became the undisputed Middleweight champion. Adesanya held interim gold heading into that bout, gold he got because Whittaker dropped out against Gastelum.

Izzy beat Gastelum in a very close five-round Fight of the Year contender to become who he is. Now Whittaker needs to retrace Adesanya’s path by beating Gastelum and getting to the title again. Considering how Adesanya wants fresh opponents, the only way for Whittaker to get the shot is to make his case unquestionable.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

There are inconsistent contenders atop the Middleweight division. Marvin Vettori is the next biggest contender, and even he has lost to Adesanya before. That is what happens when you clear out a division. The same men keep rising back to the top.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT