Kelvin Gastelum will receive the next shot at the UFC’s middleweight championship.
Gastelum will coach opposite 185-pound champion Robert Whittaker on the 28th season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF 28). After that, Whittaker will defend his middleweight throne against the former TUF winner.
Whittaker won the UFC middleweight title by defeating Yoel Romero back at UFC 213 in July of 2017. Initially he was crowned the interim middleweight champion with the win, but after Georges St-Pierre vacated his undisputed 185-pound title, Whittaker was promoted to the division’s sole title holder.
He was expected to make his first title defense against Romero again at UFC 225 in June, but Romero missed weight and the fight was instead a five round non-title fight. Whittaker edged out the win via split decision after an amazing back-and-forth war.
Gastelum has earned his shot at the title after two-straight wins over the likes of Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Michael Bisping. Speaking to MMA media at UFC 226 earlier this month, Gastelum said he doesn’t think Whittaker will be the same fighter after having gone to war with a powerhouse like Romero twice back-to-back:
“I don’t know that he’s going to be the same fighter after these fights, after these wars that he’s been in,” Gastelum said. “It takes a toll on the body, so we’ll see how he comes out after this hand surgery that he had.”
What are your thoughts on Gastelum’s comments regarding Whittaker? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!