Kelvin Gastelum Calls For Fight Against Interim Champion Robert Whittaker
If interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker needs an opponent at UFC 221, Kelvin Gastelum is more than happy to offer him a challenge.
On Saturday, Gastelum slammed home the biggest win of his middleweight career with a vicious first round knockout against former champion Michael Bisping to cap off the UFC’s first ever card in mainland China.
The victory moved him to 4-1 with one no contest as a middleweight in the UFC with his only loss coming to former champion Chris Weidman earlier this year.
Considering Bisping was just champion three weeks ago, Gastelum feels like knocking him off in such dramatic fashion should earn him consideration to face Whittaker in 2018, especially if current middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre isn’t ready to fight yet.
“I heard Robert Whittaker needs a main event opponent over in Australia for February and I’m up for the challenge,” Gastelum said. “You guys say I beat up all the elderly, well Robert Whittaker is definitely not the elderly. He’s probably my age. So I’m up for that challenge.”
UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia, which is Whittaker’s backyard so it would make perfect sense that he would fight on the card but as of yet no decision has been made about a main event.
Whittaker has been out of action since July when he won the interim title by defeating Yoel Romero but he was unable to book another fight due to a knee injury. Now Whittaker is champing at the bit to make his return, but St-Pierre is only three weeks removed from his fight with Bisping and he’s rarely taken back-to-back fights within a few months since becoming UFC champion.
That’s why Gastelum is ready to face Whittaker as an alternate opponent and perhaps crown a new undisputed champion if St-Pierre really isn’t ready to go.
“Absolutely. I mean GSP said it himself, anything can happen in the sport of MMA,” Gastelum said about fighting for the undisputed title. “I feel like Robert Whittaker and I should be next. We’re two young guys, probably haven’t even hit our prime yet.
“I just beat the guy who was the guy. So I feel like I should be next.”