Report: Robert Whittaker-Kelvin Gastelum middleweight championship bout planned for February event from Australia

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Robert Whittaker (photo credit Joshua Dahl © USA Today)

February’s pay-per-view main event looks to be coming together thanks to a report from ESPN that UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker will defend his title against Kelvin Gastelum.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto spoke to UFC President Dana White who confirmed the fight was being targeted a pay-per-view event from Australia. The report says sources indicate the show will take place on Feb. 10 from Melbourne.

Whittaker and Gastelum are currently coaching on the season of “The Ultimate Fighter” that is airing on FS1. That would typically lead to a December fight between the coaches but both December pay-per-views are already set with two title bouts each. A main event in Melbourne would likely be a career highlight for the Australian native Whittaker.

Whittaker was acclaimed as middleweight champion after Georges St-Pierre vacated his championship last year. Whittaker defeated Yoel Romero by decision in July 2017 to win the interim championship and then again in June of this year.

Gastelum has seen an unlikely but impressive rise through the middleweight ranks. He is coming off a close decision win over Jacare Souza in May and won a devastating knockout of former champ Michael Bisping last November.

The report also states that Chris Weidman would serve as a backup replacement should he defeat Souza at UFC 230.


The event would likely be UFC 234 and would take place on Feb. 9 in North America.

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