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Gastelum Steps up To Fight Whittaker on April 17

Whittaker vs Gastelum is finally coming to fruition after years of waiting!

After a “severe flu” forced Paulo Costa to pull out of his fight with Robert Whittaker at the UFC’s April 17 event, Kelvin Gastelum has now stepped up as a short-notice replacement, giving fans the matchup we’ve been waiting for since 2019!

First reported by Milenio, it seems as if Gastelum is stepping up to save the day! The April 17 card does not have an official venue or location announced. However, the UFC received licensure from the Nevada Athletic Commission to hold it at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. Brett Okamoto is one of the many reporters who has also confirmed the news.

The Road To Whittaker vs Gastelum

Robert Whittaker (22-5-0, 13-3-0 UFC) historically pulled out of the first bout with Gastelum on fight day due to a hernia. This was back at UFC 234 in February of 2019. Now, over two years later, fans are blessed with this fantastic Whittaker vs Gastelum fight again.

2-0 since that fateful fight with Israel Adesanya at UFC 243, Whittaker has proven that he is still a championship-caliber fighter with his solid decision victories over Darren Till (UFC Fight Island 3), and Jared Cannonier (UFC 254).

Kelvin Gastelum (16-6-0, 11-6-0 UFC) has had a much harder road since that cancelled bout with Whittaker. Previously on a three fight skid following losses to Adesanya (UFC 236), Till (UFC 244), and Jack Hermanson (UFC Fight Island 2), a decision victory over surging prospect Ian Heinisch at UFC 258 would see Gastelum land back in the win column.

The winner of Whittaker vs Gastelum could possibly emerge as the #1 contender. Especially if Whittaker were to emerge victoriously. He would have three straight victories over elite opponents since losing the title to Izzy.

Whittaker vs Gastelum is confimed be the main event for this card. As always, the order of fights may get shuffled as bouts fall off or get added to the April 17 UFC card! Here is the most current lineup here:

  • Middleweight: Robert Whittaker vs Kelvin Gastelum
  • Middleweight: Bartosz Fabinski vs Gerald Meerschaert
  • Heavyweight: Alexander Romanov vs Juan Espino
  • Lightweight: Drakkar Klose vs Jeremy Stephens
  • Heavyweight: Parker Porter vs Chase Sherman
  • Women’s Flyweight: Tracy Cortez vs Justine Kish
  • Bantamweight: Tony Gravely vs Nate Maness
  • Lightweight: Austin Hubbard vs Natan Levy
  • Lightweight: Luis Pena vs Alex Munoz

What’s your take on the Paulo Costa illness and Whittaker vs Gastelum situation? Leave your opinion down in the comments below!

Follow me on Twitter @MmaMakoa_, Instagram mmamakoa_, and Facebook @MakoaGobleMMA for more combat sports news and discussions. Also, make sure to follow @OT_Heroics for all of your sporting needs. Don’t forget OTHeroicsMMA for all things MMA.

Featured image credits to Embed from Getty Images and Embed from Getty Images

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