It received’t be in opposition to Paulo Costa, however Robert Whittaker’s street again to UFC gold will proceed subsequent month in a struggle between two high middleweight contenders.
The Australian former 185-pound champion will now face Kelvin Gastelum on April 18 (AEDT) in Las Vegas after Costa pulled out of the headline bout resulting from sickness, according to ESPN.
Whittaker, the No. 1 contender within the middleweight division, went 2-0 in 2020 — in wins over Darren Until and Jared Cannonier — to get again on observe after shedding his belt in 2019.
Now, he’ll put together for a struggle a pair years within the making.
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Whittaker was scheduled to face the now-eighth ranked contender, Gastelum, in February of 2019. However a fight-day well being complication pressured the champion out of motion.
Gastelum, 29, most not too long ago secured a unanimous determination win over Ian Heinisch to snap a three-fight shedding skid that noticed him drop to Israel Adesanya in an interim title struggle, earlier than failing to get previous Darren Until, after which Jack Hermansson.
According to Sporting News, Whittaker’s crew had requested for a title rematch in opposition to Adesanya after studying of Costa’s withdrawal.
As a substitute, Whittaker could have one other hoop to leap by as he seems to be to earn a shot on the crown that was ripped from his head again in 2019 when Adesanya stopped him.