Report: Kelvin Gastelum To Step In Against Robert Whittaker

Robert Whittaker

Kelvin Gastelum will finally collide with Robert Whittaker.

Whittaker was set to return to action at the UFC’s upcoming April 17 event against Paulo Costa with the winner likely to be next in line to face middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

However, it was recently revealed that Costa had pulled out of the fight due to illness leaving Whittaker without an opponent. Whittaker was hoping to face Adesanya right away which is what most observers would have preferred.

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Instead, Gastelum is stepping in to save the show as he has reportedly replaced Costa and will now face Whittaker on April 17. The news was reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

“The one that got away in 2019, is now scheduled for next month. Per sources, Kelvin Gastelum (@KelvinGastelum) replaces Paulo Costa in April 17 main event against Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma).”

Gastelum returned to the win column with a unanimous decision victory over Ian Heinisch at UFC 258 last month. It snapped a three-fight losing streak for the former title challenger.

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Whittaker, meanwhile, is on a two-fight winning streak following decision victories over Darren Till and Jared Hermansson.

As mentioned by Okamoto, the pair were initially supposed to compete for the middleweight title in early 2019 only for Whittaker to pull out the night before the fight.

Gastelum, of course, would go on to face Adesanya for the interim middleweight title a few months later and suffer a unanimous decision defeat after a five-round war.

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Experienced freelance sports writer covering mixed martial arts (MMA) extensively for the last few years. Likes a good body shot.