‘Everything Is Opposite’- Robert Whittaker Not Happy With Last Minute Fight With Kelvin Gastelum

Published 03/20/2021, 7:32 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 24: Robert Whittaker of New Zealand poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 24, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Former UFC middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, was set to fight fellow contender Paulo Costa in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card on April 17th. However, due to illness and severe flu, ‘Borrachinha’ had to withdraw as he wouldn’t be ready in time for the clash. Kelvin Gastelum will serve as the replacement as he is now officially the other half of the main event.

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‘The Reaper’ recently talked about how Gastelum is a different fighter than Costa. Speaking to ESPN recently, Whittaker said, “It is what it is, I’ve done it to enough people to know that these things happen. Once I got over it I started to look at the positives; luckily I’d done work for Gastelum and I’ve had a lot of fights with southpaws, just to adjust to the movement and what I need to do for this fight.”

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To start with, Gastelum is a southpaw and will have different directions in his attacks than Costa. ‘The Reaper’ recently fought Darren Till on Fight Island. So, that might help him prepare for Gastelum to some extent. Also, ‘Bobby Knuckles’ was due to fight Gastelum at UFC 234. But a health scare made him withdraw from the card.

Everything is opposite, so all the work you were doing for an orthodox [fighter], everything is essentially the opposite,” The former champion added.

You have to go left instead of the right for his power hand, all of the striking patterns and techniques are the opposite way. It’s a little tricky but I’ve had enough time to reset a lot of my habits that I was developing.”

Robert Whittaker vs Kelvin Gastelum: A fight in the making for a long time

As mentioned earlier, the proposed clash between the two top middleweights was set for UFC 234. However, Whittaker had to withdraw last minute and Gastelum later appeared at the press conferences and at the pay-per-view with the middleweight belt. Gastelum’s antics did not offend the Aussie, as he believed they were rather goofy.

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Stylistically, the fight promises to be a banger as both fighters are brawlers with excellent technical prowess. So, the UFC fans will be in for a treat when the fight emanates from the UFC Apex. The winner will put himself in a prime spot to challenge for the UFC middleweight gold as well. So, the stakes are high for this intriguing clash too.

The Reaper‘ or Gastelum, who gets the win? Let us know.

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Apratim Banerjee

709 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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