Kelvin Gastelum watched UFC 243 and thinks that Robert Whittaker not only could have done better but also feels the former middleweight champ could be on the decline. After losing by second-round knock out to Israel Adesanya in Australia and losing the title, Gastelum feels that when Whittaker was supposed to fight him back at UFC 234 and was removed due to needing hernia surgery, he lost an opportunity to fight the best version of Whittaker.
“I said back in February I was robbed of that opportunity,” Gastelum told ESPN. Gastelum believes he would have been able to finish Whittaker in a similar fashion had their fight happened, but the emergency surgery had the fight removed, and Adesanya versus Anderson Silva was moved up to the main event.
“I feel like he went in there and tried to implement some of the game plan I had,” Gastelum said after having gone the distance with Adesanya back at UFC 236 when fighting for the interim title. “It just didn’t work out for him,” Gastelum added by saying, “I just don’t think he had the right footwork, I don’t think he had the right head movement, I don’t think he had the right boxing approach to fighting Israel.”
Gastelum went on to say that, he also feels the injuries and two wars with Yoel Romero may have Whittaker on the back end of his career since the fight game shows no mercy to fighters, including Gastelum. “When you go through those kinds of wars, your body starts breaking down on you,” Gastelum said of how Whittaker lost and added, “I just don’t think he has a chin anymore.”
He admitted he is not exempt from what he believes happened to Whittaker saying that his body has “things that don’t work the same anymore,” but he still thinks his plan for Adesanya was implemented better than what Whittaker tried to do, and he hopes to try it again.
Do you think Gastelum could beat Adesanya in a rematch?