UFC: Whittaker Talks Adesanya Rematch And Gastelum Fight
Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is gunning for a chance to reclaim the title against the current champion Israel Adesanya, but understands that he’s not the one who gets to decide who fights for the belt next.
Whittaker lost his title to Adesanya at UFC 243, when he was TKO’d in the second round. ‘The Reaper’ has since won two on the trot in impressive fashion, against Darren Till and Jared Cannonier, and is now set to face another tough matchup in Kelvin Gastelum in the UFC Vegas 24 main event.
Getting The Title Shot
“Yeah, it is what it is,” Whittaker said. “All the power’s in Adesanya’s hands at the moment. So, it is what it is. I just got to win the next fight, worry about it after.
“He did beat me, and he’s the champ. The power’s in his hands. I’m not gonna dwell on it too much. All I’m gonna do is just keep my head down, focus on that next fight and try to get that win, and just keep winning. That’s the goal. That’s what I’m doing. I’m not worrying about too much else.”
“I Don’t Want To Wait That Long”
Paulo Costa was originally scheduled to fight Whittaker at UFC Vegas 24, but was forced to withdraw due to illness. Instead of waiting for a potential title fight with Adesanya, the 30 year old explained why he opted to fight Gastelum.
“It’s something that could have been a possibility, but Adesanya just fought, and who knows [when] he wants to fight next?” Whittaker explained. “I just don’t want to wait that long. I want to fight, I want to get better, I want to earn [money and] do my job. I want to get in there and work. And, yeah, I’ve got a lot of things on. I don’t want to waste time waiting around. I hate that.”
Kelvin Gastelum Is A Dangerous Opponent
Gastelum recently snapped a three-fight losing streak against Ian Heinisch at UFC 258. Although the TUF season 17 winner has been through a rough patch in the last couple of years, Whittaker isn’t underestimating him.
“There weren’t a lot of options because a lot of the middleweight division is tied up,” Whitaker said. “And also, the ones that aren’t tied up just don’t make sense. So, Gastelum really was the only one that was a potential possibility. I kind of owe a fight to him anyway, right? So, it’s a good fight. There’s obviously some glaring changes that I have to make, but I still have a month until the fight. And, yeah, like I said, the camp was great, the fitness is on point. Everything is looking really good.
“I just got to be prepared for a fight that could go anywhere. I got to be prepared for Gastelum’s power, for his pop, for his subtle distance control, and just be ready for that wrestling that’s always there, as well.”
Whittaker was scheduled to defend his title against Gastelum at UFC 234, but had to withdraw on the day of the fight due to a hernia which required emergency surgery.
Adesanya is coming off a unanimous decision loss to the light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259. ‘The Last Stylebender’ has previously stated that he wants to fight Darren Till next, should the Brit beat Marvin Vettori at UFC Vegas 23.
Do you think Robert Whittaker will deserve a title shot against Israel Adesanya with a win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24?