The UFC’s middleweight division is on fire at the moment. With a new champion in Israel Adesanya sitting atop the mountain; challengers such as Kelvin Gastelum, Darren Till, Paulo Costa, and Robert Whittaker now wait as potential title challengers.
Whittaker comes off a knockout loss to “Stylebender,” dropping the 185-pound title to the Nigerian-born striker. As for Gastelum and Till, they’ll face off at UFC 244 on pay-per-view (PPV). Adesanya is believed to be gearing up to make his first title defense against Costa in 2020. Speaking to Submission Radio recently, Whittaker discussed the current layout of the middleweight division.
“Bobby Knuckles” said he’ll be paying close attention to Gastelum vs. Till in November, as the winner could very well be his next opponent.
“Yeah, certainly I’m gonna be watching it closely, cause they’re very likely opponents in the future. But I would have to say, I would have to lean towards Gastelum, because I think he’s a super underrated fighter in the middleweight division.
“But he’s very sneaky in his approach to closing the distance and his approach in landing the strikes. He’s quite quick. We’ll have to see how Till makes the transition to middleweight. That’s always a big question mark for me, watching guys jump up. So, I’ll have to lean towards Gastelum at this point.”
After seeing Whittaker’s knockout loss to Adesanya, Gastelum has come out and claimed he’d drop the Australian like “a sack of potatoes” if they fought. This kind of trash talk doesn’t come as a surprise to Whittaker in this day and age.
“Nah, I’m not surprised. The game and the culture around it, is everyone just wants to shit on each other. And yeah, it’s sad. It’s sad that people have to try and shit on each other to move up in the world. Like, I think I’ve shown, you don’t have to do that. But maybe he would have. We’ll see. We’re still quite young, both me and him, and I’m sure our paths will cross.”
Whittaker doesn’t plan on taking too much time off to recover from his loss to Adesanya either, as he claims he’s eying an early 2020 return to action.
“We’ll see what the division does. Like, I gotta see the other guys fights conclude, but February, March next year looks pretty good.”
Do you think Whittaker will fight the winner of Gastelum and Till next?