Whittaker triumphs

(The Philippine Star) - April 19, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Robert Whittaker showed why he’s the top in his division, outclassing Kelvin Gastelum with a striking clinic in the UFC Vegas 24 Saturday night.

The co-main event between Jeremy Stephens and Drakkar Klose was nixed as the event broadcast went live, while a bout between Zarah Fairn versus Josiane Nunes was canceled after Fairn missed weight by several pounds on Friday.

Whittaker, the former middlweight champ, was the faster fighter and beat Gastelum to the punch during the exchanges.

He mixed in takedowns and delivered a steady dose of kicks to the legs and body of Gastelum.

Gastelum connected at times, but couldn’t put together combinations, having trouble with the range and movement of Whittaker. For every strike Gastelum landed, Whittaker landed two or three.

Gastelum was outclassed the entire fight, but continued to press forward looking to connect with a big left hand. The bout went the distance, but it was a convincing win for Whittaker. All three judges scored him winning every round.

“I’m feeling on top of the world,” said Whittaker following the win. “This was a very hard fight. I think that a lot of people were selling Kelvin short because where he’s ranked, but I think he’s one of the best fighters in the division.”

With the win, Whittaker further solidified his place as the top contender in the division. He was defeated by current champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 in October 2019. Since then, Whittaker has gone on an impressive three-fight winning streak and believes hes earned a rematch against Adesanya. Whittaker believes the event could take place in a stadium in Australia this fall.

“I think it’s about time we cross paths once again. I think we can get a sold out stadium. They might even open up borders for Australia in September. Let’s make that happen. Let’s see if we can get a stadium in back home,” said Whittaker.

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