Kelvin Gastelum Has Bold Prediction For UFC 234 Title Fight With Robert Whittaker

Kelvin Gastelum is feeling extremely confident heading into his UFC 234 middleweight title fight against Robert Whittaker – to say the least. Gastelum has earned his shot at the 185-pound title against “Bobby Knuckles” in Australia. Speaking at a media luncheon this week to promote the event, the former Ultimate Fighter winner offered a bold […]

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Kelvin Gastelum is feeling extremely confident heading into his UFC 234 middleweight title fight against Robert Whittaker – to say the least.

Gastelum has earned his shot at the 185-pound title against “Bobby Knuckles” in Australia. Speaking at a media luncheon this week to promote the event, the former Ultimate Fighter winner offered a bold prediction for the bout (via MMA Junkie):

“I’m predicting a first-round knockout,” Gastelum said. “I feel so confident in my abilities and confident in what I’ve done in the sport.”

With back-to-back wins against the likes of Michael Bisping and Ronaldo Souza, Gastelum is heading into the first title fight of his career. However, he’ll have a tough task ahead of him in Whittaker, who hasn’t lost since February of 2014. Whittaker is currently on a nine-fight win streak. He won the 185-pound title back in July of 2017.

Whittaker defeated Yoel Romero to capture the interim middleweight championship via unanimous decision, however, when undisputed champion Georges St-Pierre vacated his title due to injury, Whittaker’s status was promoted. This will be Whittaker’s first career title defense due to Romero missing weight in their rematch this past summer.

UFC 224 goes down live on pay-per-view (PPV) from the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia on February 10th.

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Kelvin Gastelum Eyes First-Round KO Over Robert Whittaker At UFC 234

Kelvin Gastelum sees himself scoring a quick finish over Robert Whittaker. On Feb. 9, Gastelum will challenge Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title holder Whittaker. The 185-pound title bout will headline UFC 234 inside the Rod Laver …

Kelvin Gastelum sees himself scoring a quick finish over Robert Whittaker. On Feb. 9, Gastelum will challenge Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title holder Whittaker. The 185-pound title bout will headline UFC 234 inside the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. This will be Gastelum’s first UFC title opportunity. Gastelum Aims For Early Finish Over […]

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Anderson Silva Still Has Sights Set on Conor McGregor Fight, Nick Diaz Rematch

Anderson Silva still has plenty of fight left in him and that’s why he has no problem pursuing fights in the future with both Conor McGregor and Nick Diaz. As Silva prepares for his upcoming showdown at UFC 234 against Israel Adesanya, the 43-year old …

Anderson Silva still has plenty of fight left in him and that’s why he has no problem pursuing fights in the future with both Conor McGregor and Nick Diaz. As Silva prepares for his upcoming showdown at UFC 234 against Israel Adesanya, the 43-year old Brazilian legend isn’t slowing down when it comes to what […]

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Exclusive: Lando Vannata Talks New Contract, Charles Rosa Mishap & His UFC 234 Opponent

Fresh off his new four-fight deal with the UFC, lightweight Lando Vanatta steps back into the cage on Feb. 9 against Marcos Rosa Mariano at UFC 234. For the 26-year-old, testing free agency wasn’t something that crossed his mind as he was confident a n…

Fresh off his new four-fight deal with the UFC, lightweight Lando Vanatta steps back into the cage on Feb. 9 against Marcos Rosa Mariano at UFC 234. For the 26-year-old, testing free agency wasn’t something that crossed his mind as he was confident a new contract with the Las Vegas-based promotion would happen. “I figured […]

The post Exclusive: Lando Vannata Talks New Contract, Charles Rosa Mishap & His UFC 234 Opponent appeared first on MMA News.

UFC 234: Whittaker vs. Gastelum Current Fight Card

Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will return to action in his home country to defend his title against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234. Whittaker will defend the 185-pound strap against someone other than Yoel Romero for the first time since 2017. He will do so against the No.4-ranked Gastelum in the night’s main event. UFC 234 […]

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Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will return to action in his home country to defend his title against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234.

Whittaker will defend the 185-pound strap against someone other than Yoel Romero for the first time since 2017. He will do so against the No.4-ranked Gastelum in the night’s main event.

UFC 234 takes place at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The main card will air live on pay-per-view while the prelims are expected to air on ESPN+.

2018’s breakout fighter of the year, Israel Adesanya, will meet Anderson Silva, the longest reigning middleweight champion the sport has ever known in the evening’s co-main event.

Here is a look at the UFC 234 fight card and the probable order.

UFC 234 Main Card

Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum (No. 4)

Israel Adesanya (No. 6) vs. Anderson Silva

Kai Kara-France vs. Raulian Paiva

Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simon

Jim Crute vs. Ryan Spann

UFC 234 Undercard

Wuliji Buren vs. Jonathan Martinez

Montana De La Rosa vs. Nadia Kassem

Austin Arnett vs. Shane Young

Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simon

*Fight card, bout order and the amount of matches subject to change.

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Robert Whittaker Blasts UFC’s ‘Silly’ Backup Fighter Concept

There seems to be some mixed reactions about the UFC’s recent tendency to place backup fighters on cards with big title fights or main events. For example, when Tyron Woodley defended his welterweight championship against Darren Till, there was some concern the Englishman might not make weight. As a result, the UFC hired Kamaru Usman […]

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There seems to be some mixed reactions about the UFC’s recent tendency to place backup fighters on cards with big title fights or main events.

For example, when Tyron Woodley defended his welterweight championship against Darren Till, there was some concern the Englishman might not make weight. As a result, the UFC hired Kamaru Usman to cut weight and prepare as if he were going to fight should his services be required.

However, Woodley was against the concept and said he didn’t like the idea of taking a fight against a competitor completely different to who he was originally preparing for. Luckily, Till made weight and nobody had to worry about any of that. But it looks like UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker echoes his fellow UFC champion’s sentiments.

Whittaker recently spoke to media to promote his upcoming title defense against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234 in February. “Bobby Knuckles” said the UFC’s backup fighter concept is a ‘silly’ one to him (via MMA Fighting):

“I think the idea behind backup fighters is a little silly or there should be different incentives and things involved in it,” said Whittaker. “I think it should be more thought out, I can’t envision a guy getting paid to make weight. That’s not the sport, that’s not the name of the game.

“I think fights need to be made and deadlines need to be made, I think athletes themselves need to be more professional about the sport, I think a lot of guys are getting lax, a lot of guys are taking advantage of different loopholes they can exploit.”

Whittaker has been in this situation before. In his last fight against Yoel Romero, the contest was not for his 185-pound title because the Cuban wasn’t able to make weight. Instead, Whittaker and Romero competed in a five-round non-title contest. However, should Whittaker have been forced to fight a replacement opponent, it puts him in a corner.

While he’d like to refuse such a fight on short-notice, he’d have had to traveled across the world from his native Australia to the United States, all for nothing, as he wouldn’t be paid if he refused to fight:

“Again, you’re putting me in a corner, aren’t you?” Whittaker said. “It’s like we get to the fight night, my opponent can’t make it and you’re like, ‘You still gonna fight?’ What am I a pussy? You’re kind of forcing my hand when you put me in a corner like that.

“Does no one else see any holes in that plan? I think there are a lot of holes to be exploited in that plan. It seems silly to me, because the whole idea between fighting is you have an opponent that you prepare meticulously for, for weeks.

“And then all of a sudden, the guy says, ‘Can’t fight.’ And the backup guy is conveniently there? Nah, dude.”

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