Sunday, January 23, 2022

Kelvin Gastelum Sees Path To Adesanya Rematch By Beating Whittaker

UFC Vegas 24 headliner Kelvin Gastelum feels that if he goes out and picks up a big win over Robert Whittaker, fans will be treated to a rematch of one of the greatest fights of all time.

In what was atop many lists for 2019 Fight of the Year, Israel Adesanya defeated Kelvin Gastelum via unanimous decision in a five-round war for the ages at UFC 236. It was onward and upward for Adesanya from there, as this victory earned him the right to be crowned the interim UFC middleweight champion, which he would go on to parlay into becoming the undisputed champion when he defeated Robert Whittaker at UFC 243. 

Israel Adesanya has spoken in the past about “alternative universes” and how these worlds host countless different endings to every fight. In an alternative universe, perhaps Kelvin Gastelum would have been able to put Adesanya away after having the champion in serious danger earlier in the fight. Or maybe it would have been him who welcomed death as he tapped into another dimension before pulling away with the win in the fifth round. 

Instead, the reality is that Kelvin Gastelum came up short against Israel Adesanya and never received the chance to face Robert Whittaker, who Gastelum was scheduled to challenge for the title before he lost to Adesanya at UFC 236. At UFC Vegas 24, Gastelum will have an opportunity to recreate the past by entering an alternative universe where Whittaker vs. Gastelum does happen and where he’ll once again face Israel Adesanya, but perhaps with one of those different endings this time.

“I think the winner of this fight gets the Izzy rematch,” Gastelum told reporters in a UFC Vegas 24 media scrum. “I get the win, I get my hand raised, and I get the chance to fight for the title next.”

Fans were eager to see Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum fight for the title in 2019 because it had all the makings of a barnburner the way the two match up stylistically. As it happens, that is the same reason why Gastelum himself is eager for the fight to kick off this Saturday.

“Super highly skilled. These are two guys that are entering their prime. He’s highly skilled. I believe I have the skills to match it or be even better,” Gastelum said in previewing the bout. “So the fight fans are in for a nice fight. That’s why I’ve always liked this fight. It’s just because I think the styles mesh up really well, and it’s gonna be a really exciting fight.”

Do you think Kelvin Gastelum will be able to earn a rematch against Israel Adesanya if he beats Robert Whittaker at UFC Vegas 24?

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