Middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum has given his take on the impending clash between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya for the undisputed title.
The Kiwi fighter earned a shot at the undisputed middleweight title after surviving Gastelum in an epic encounter at UFC 236 last April.
Izzy recorded the most number of knockdowns in his fight against Gastelum and prevailed in the final round to win the interim middleweight championship.
The reigning middleweight champ has praised Adesanya for overcoming adversity in that fight but said some of Adesanya’s weak points were exposed.
Whittaker also told his future opponent that he is a ‘very hard fight’ as he is a better striker compared to Gastelum.
As a response, Adesanya offered Rob to fight him in the parking lot.
The ‘Last Stylebender’ also described the unification bout as one of the most significant events in the Aussie-Kiwi sporting history.
And as expected, Australia will be playing host to this exciting affair, according to a recent report.
— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) April 14, 2019
Multiple reports claimed that the Whittaker vs Adesanya unification bout would serve as the headliner of the UFC 243 on October 6.
The reports also said that the fight will be held at the Bankwest Stadium in Sydney, Australia, which has a seating capacity of 30 000.
Whittaker has expressed his interest in fighting Adesanya in the same card as the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Dustin Poirier fight, following the success of the two interim title bouts at UFC 236.
However, the Nevada-based promotion has officially booked the Khabib vs Poirier lightweight fight for the main event of UFC 242 in September, which will take place at a stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
This is the second time the UAE capital will host a UFC pay-per-view event after the UFC 112: Invincible featuring Anderson Silva and Demian Maia in 2010.
Report: Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya in the works for UFC 243 on October 6 in Sydney, Australia. pic.twitter.com/LQWYvkgohm
— mma 21+ (@mma21plus) April 29, 2019
Gastelum’s Fearless Forecast
Adesanya has been active in the UFC since his promotional debut in early 2018.
He has won sixth straight fights in the UFC, which include wins against Brad Tavares, Derek Brunson, Anderson Silva, and Kelvin Gastelum.
In all these four bouts, Adesanya took home a Performance Of The Night and/or Fight Of The Night honours.
He remains undefeated in his professional MMA career with a win-loss record of 17-0.
But for the first time in his career, Adesanya will march as the underdog in his next fight as opening odds favoured Whittaker to win the undisputed title.
Whittaker currently boasts an 11-2 UFC record and is riding on a nine-fight winning streak since losing back-to-back in 2014.
His most recent win was against Yoel Romero at UFC 225, but it was ruled out as a non-title bout after his challenger missed weight.
Technically, the Adesanya fight would be his first official title-defence.
Having prepared to fight against Whittaker and the experience to go up against Adesanya, Gastelum thinks the Kiwi fighter will win this one.
It’s a hard one but Israel has my respect! He really stepped up when I couldn’t! (A mistake I will never let happen again.) and showed allot of heart and so I think he will pull it off and it will set up a rematch between him and I when I win my fight as well. 🤔 https://t.co/Ia3HrWJWeD
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) June 10, 2019
“It’s a hard one but Israel has my respect! He really stepped up when I couldn’t! (A mistake I will never let happen again.) and showed a lot of heart and so I think he will pull it off and it will set up a rematch between him and I when I win my fight as well.”
Do you agree with Gastelum’s prediction?
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Kelvin Gastelum, Israel Adesanya, and Robert Whittaker)