Robert Whittaker nears UFC middleweight title shot with big performance against Kelvin Gastelum
A masterclass on the feet! 💢
These two left it all in the Octagon tonight. #UFCVegas24 pic.twitter.com/3XxCsqJiHS
— UFC (@ufc) April 18, 2021
Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is one step closer to a title fight to reclaim his belt after defeating Kelvin Gastelum on Saturday night.
“The Reaper” put on one of his finest performances to date as he comfortably beat the tough Gastelum over five rounds.
Whittaker had Gastelum’s number throughout this contest, expertly countering Gastelum with punches and kicks while mixing things up with takedowns.
Gastelum was always on the hunt for the finish and walked through most of Whittaker’s shots, though was dazed by a big head kick in the first round, but was unable to mount any serious offence to try and sway the judges.
All three judges scored the contest 50-45 to Whittaker, a clean sweep for the Australian.
Since losing his belt to current champion Israel Adesanya, Whittaker has compiled three wins over top competition in Jared Cannonier, Darren Till and now Gastelum.
Either Whittaker or Marvin Vettori, who watched this bout cageside, is likely to face Adesanya next. After this performance, it’s Whittaker who looks the more likely to get that chance.
Andrei Arlovski comes from behind to win decision versus Chase Sherman
Still got it!@AndreiArlovski secures his 2️⃣0️⃣th UFC win at #UFCVegas24.
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— UFC (@ufc) April 18, 2021
At 42 years of age, Andrei Arlovski doesn’t appear to be slowing down inside the Octagon.
The former UFC heavyweight champion rebounded to his defeat to Tom Aspinall with a unanimous decision victory against Chase Sherman in the co-main event.
Arlovski and Sherman’s bout was moved up the fight card after Jeremy Stephens and Drakkar Klose’s contest was called off just minutes before the event was due to begin.
Sherman started the bout well and looked like he had Arlovski in trouble in the first round. However, the Belarusian managed to survive a barrage of punches and regroup to take control of the action from the second round on.
Arlovski’s striking looked sharp, landing punching combinations up top and to the body while chewing up Sherman’s lead leg to stifle his movement.
Those leg kicks hampered Sherman’s attempts to lead the fight and steal the third round in the eyes of the judges as Arlovski cruised to the 15 minute mark.
All thre judges scored the fight 29-28 in Arlovski’s favour, handing the veteran his 20th win in the UFC.
UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Gastelum full results
Middleweight: Robert Whittaker def. Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision after five rounds
Heavyweight: Andrei Arlovski def. Chase Sherman by unanimous decision after three rounds
Middleweight: Jacob Malkoun def. Abdul Razak Alhassan by unanimous decision after three rounds
Catchweight: Tracy Cortez def. Justine Kish by split decision after three rounds
Lightweight: Luis Peña def. Alexander Munoz by unanimous decision after three rounds
Heavyweight: Alexander Romanov def. Juan Espino by technical (split) decision after three rounds
Women’s Strawweight: Jessica Penne def. Lupita Godinez by split decision after three rounds
Middleweight: Gerald Meerschaert def. Bartosz Fabiński by technical submission (guillotine choke) at 2:00 of round one
Lightweight: Austin Hubbard def. Dakota Bush by unanimous decision after three rounds
Bantamweight: Tony Gravely def. Anthony Birchak by TKO (punch) at 1:31 of round two