Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum – UFC Vegas 24 Staff Predictions

Robert Whittaker

In the UFC Vegas 24 main event, we have an epic middleweight fight with title implications. The former 185lb king, Robert Whittaker, will take on one-time interim title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum, over five rounds. Who’ll win? Let’s see what the LowKickMMA staff think.

Jordan Ellis: A few years ago, when this fight was supposed to happen, I would’ve picked Kelvin Gastelum. I’m a big fan and could see holes in Whitaker’s injury plagued title reign. At this point though it’s impossible for me to back against the Aussie fighter. He’s looked brilliant since losing his belt. Gastelum on the other hand has been poor lately. After three straight losses he managed to get back in the win column but failed to impress. I think Whittaker outpoints him over five rounds.

Prediction: Robert Whittaker

Ryan MacCarthy: I just think Whittaker is the hotter fighter, winner of 2 straight while Kelvin has lost 3 of 4, although he did win his last one which was huge but just has not looked great. Gastelum has shown he can compete with the elite guys. He just got into a little funk. The Jack Hermansson thing was a little weird, he got heel hooked. It has to be a mental thing with him. With Whittaker, the fight is going to be mostly standing. How confident is Gastelum going to be standing again with Whittaker? I think Kelvin is so durable. But I do see Bobby Knuckles winning this one via Unanimous Decision.

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Prediction: Robert Whittaker

Frank Bonada: I will always respect Gastelum for giving us that 5 round war against Israel Adesanya. However, there is no way I can pick him in this fight. One of the most impressive additions to his fight against Heinisch was the wrestling heavy approach to the fight. Unfortunately for Gastelum, Robert Whittaker is one of the best anti wrestlers in the UFC. It is unlikely Gastelum will have luck in that department. Then in the striking, Gastelum’s lack of movement and range will likely make him a sitting duck. Partner that with Whittaker’s history of success against southpaws (Hall, Till, Romero etc) and I expect this to be a clear cut fight. The one Gastelum has going for him in this fight is a granite chin and solid endurance. Whittaker via Unanimous decision.

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Prediction: Robert Whittaker

Curtis Calhoun: Robert Whittaker by Unanimous Decision. Whittaker has looked incredible since falling to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 and I predict he’ll show no signs of slowing down against the tough Gastelum. Gastelum is one of the dark horses at 185, after giving Adesanya issues in their interim middleweight title bout, but has issues competing in the later rounds. Credit to him for taking the fight on short notice after Paulo Costa pulled out, but this is a mountain that I don’t feel he’ll be able to climb with the reduced preparation. Look for Gastelum to catch Whittaker with some shots early, but for “The Reaper” to control the fight on the feet and on the ground as the fight goes on. On a full camp, I feel this could possibly be a different result…. but Whittaker will win with relative ease and move closer to a rematch with Adesanya for the middleweight belt.

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Prediction: Robert Whittaker

Alex Lough: There’s a reason this fight is only coming together as a short notice replacement. Gastelum has struggled when he’s taken that next step against the truly elite. His only win in the last 3 years is against Ian Heinisch, who’s never been ranked. Whitaker has taken on some of the best of the best and come out on top. While he hasn’t looked dominate in his wins over Till and Cannonier, he still proved he can top on some of the divisions best and get the W. There’s levels to this thing, and Whitaker is a step above Gastelum here. Bobby Knuckles by decision.

Prediction: Robert Whittaker

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.