Kelvin Gastelum Backs Robert Whittaker To Upset Israel Adesanya At UFC 271

Kelvin Gastelum

Kelvin Gastelum is a former opponent of Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker and is, therefore, better placed than anyone to offer a prediction for the UFC 271 main event.

The Ultimate Fighter winner was dominated by Whittaker over the course of five rounds last April. During a recent appearance on the UFC 271 weigh-in show, Gastelum admitted it was the most befuddled he had ever been inside the Octagon.

“After my last fight with Rob Whittaker, I’ve never been that dazed, kind of scratching my head like, ‘Man, this guy was really better than me today,’” Gastelum said. And I really didn’t see an opening, and he was just much better. I just had never felt that in a fight before and not even against Adesanya did he make me feel that way.  I think Robert Whittaker was just operating on a different level, and I think if he can continue operating at that level, then I think he may be able to take it.”

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In April 2019, Gastelum pushed ‘Stylbender’ more than anyone ever had. The 30-year-old hit and hurt Adesanya on multiple occasions throughout their five-round interim title fight before ultimately falling to a unanimous decision defeat.

Gastelum says Whittaker must avoid making the mistakes he made during his first fight with Adesanya in order to have a chance of regaining the middleweight strap.

“He needs to pick his shots well,” Gastelum said. “Not leap and jump in there like he did last time. Adesanya is a master at managing distance and controlling distance, and so he needs to be careful with that, about jumping in and leaping in like he did last time, but pick his shots. I think he’s gonna be a little bit faster, I think he has the right tools to beat Adesanya and maybe mix in a little bit more wrestling, as well.”

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“If he mixes it up and mixes in his wrestling, I think he can be successful,” Gastelum continued. “I think he can open up a lot of doors if he uses his wrestling.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)

Do you agree with Kelvin Gastelum on the UFC 271 main event?