Welcome back to another UFC prediction and breakdown blog. We’ve got a huge main event this week, this is most likely a number 1 contender fight for the Middleweight division.
Destiny brings these 2 men back to the Octagon again, originally meant to fight in a championship fight in 2019 which was cancelled last minute. Ironically this time this fight is happening because of a cancellation too, as Gastelum steps in on 1 month’s notice to replace Paulo Costa.
We’ve got ex UFC champion, current rank 1 Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker taking on ex title challenger Kelvin Gastelum. Now the Middleweight gold resides in New Zealand with the new King Israel Adesanya but which one of these will get their rematch? Let’s dive right in!
The UFC Pound for Pound Rankings is a list of the top 15 fights in the company across divisions and Robert Whittaker aka Bobby Knuckles has been on this list regardless of losing his Middleweight strap.
Whittaker was undefeated at Middleweight till he got knocked out by Adesanya but since then he has bounced back with 2 wins and another one this weekend should guarantee him a shot at gold. Adesanya called out Darren Till and Jarrod Cannonier for a title fight if they win their respective matches and Bobby Knuckles defeated both of them consecutively making a statement. Whittaker has been in two iconic 5 round blood wars with Yoel Romero and came out with his hands raised.
Whittaker is primarily a Karate-style fighter having a Black belt in Goru-Ryu Karate and he brags a strong ground game at the back of his Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Whittaker is primarily a striker but does not hesitate to wrestle as he did against Darren Till to get the win.
The Ultimate Fighter is the UFC’s MMA reality competition featuring the best young talent in the world. Kelvin Gastelum was part of the 17th season where he was the last pick of the draft. Being the biggest underdog on the roster that season Gastelum shocked the world to win the competition and earn himself a UFC contract.
His recent losses have made fight fans neglect his skill, but to think that Kelvin was fighting for a title fight 2 fights back, he deserves this fight and is ready for war. Kelvin’s recent losses include a split decision loss to Till and a 5 round war defeat to the king Adesanya. Kelvin boasts an elite level ground game being a Black belt in BJJ and having competed in NCAA Division III Wrestling.
Regardless of who wins this fight, this fight is a guaranteed war. Gastelum has never been knocked out in his career and Whittaker has just lost to Adesanya at Middleweight. The stats prove that neither of them backs down from a war, Kelvin having been part of UFC’s fight of the year in 2019, and Whittaker is known for being part of wars.
We can expect Whittaker to use his sidekicks and jabs in his unique karate stance to keep Gastelum at bay and pick him apart from the outside. Contrarily, Gastelum will look to wrestle and pack some heat with his punches while looking to hurt Whittaker. Both these fighters have identical distance strike defense stats and distance strike accuracy. We can expect a nightmare for the judges while scoring this one. Ultimately, we believe Robert Whittaker is the superior fighter here, his fight IQ is off the charts. You can expect a bloodied Whittaker uncharacteristically calling out Adesanya after he gets the win this weekend.
Catch this amazing fight only on UFC fight pass this weekend https://ufcfightpass.com/ and bet on Stake for the best UFC odds https://stake.com/sports/mma/ufc/ufc-fight-night-whittaker-vs-gastelum/featured.
Prediction- Robert Whittaker by Decision
Stake Odds- 2.40 (Subject to Change)