Chris Weidman and Kelvin Gastelum are clearly the frontrunners for a shot at Robert Whittaker’s middleweight title, but who will get the opportunity first?
Weidman and Gastelum met inside the Octagon last July, where ‘The All American’ took a third-round submission win. It was the former 185-pound champ’s first victory in four fights. After his victory over Gastelum, however, Weidman was sidelined with a broken thumb and is still recovering from a significant procedure.
In the meantime, Gastelum has been staying busy with back-to-back wins over jiu-jitsu icon Ronaldo Jacare Souza and former middleweight champion Michael Bisping. With Gastelum coming off two straight wins he believes he’s rightfully next in line for the UFC middleweight crown.
With Weidman getting ready to return soon, however, he feels that since he beat Gastelum he should get the first nod at the title. Gastelum recently took to Twitter to fire a shot at Weidman, saying he believes it’s only right he challenges Whittaker first this Fall:
-your argument for consideration for a title shot is based upon being the "most decorated", then Whittaker should fight the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center this Fall…
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) June 13, 2018
Weidman soon responded by reminding Gastelum what happened last time they met inside the Octagon:
?Chrispy??? Now it’s personal…my argument is simple. I am ranked ahead of YOU and I finished YOU in my last fight. https://t.co/EaqAPvdINm
— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) June 14, 2018
The pair might just have to fight it out one more time to determine who will fight Whittaker next. Whittaker defeated Yoel Romero in the main event of UFC 225 last weekend (Sat. June 9, 2018) in a non-title fight after the Cuban missed weight.
He suffered a broken hand during the fight and will likely need a significant amount of time for recovery before getting back inside the Octagon. That means there’s more than enough time for Gastelum and Weidman to rematch and solidify who truly deserves to fight for UFC gold next.