Israel Adesanya’s resume in the middleweight division is go great that the only thing that makes sense for his next fight would have to be a rematch since Rob Whittaker spoiled his plans. Adesanya has went on to say that he either wanted to fight Darren Till or Jared Cannonier but then Whittaker beat them both, so they don’t deserve to fight Izzy.
It is pretty much clear that Whittaker did not need to take the fight since he pretty much worked his way up and already deserves to fight for the title. Whittaker just simply wanted to stay active so he was booked to fight Paulo Costa but pulled out, so Gastelum stepped in.
It is kind of crazy to see the fight happen since both were scheduled to fight before when Whittaker was still the champion. They already both weighed in but at the last minute Whittaker pulled out due to health issues. Fortunately, he pulled out before the fight since it would potentially end badly had he fought that night.
Now, they are scheduled to fight April 17 for a potential title contender fight. It is pretty much a big fight for both fighters and they cannot afford to lose, since a win here could have a chance to avenge their Adesanya loss.
For the stylistic match, both have great wrestling arsenal and also have crisp boxing. Whittaker has that lunging jab that throws his opponents off guard and Gastelum has a great counter punching abilities where he usually lands a knockdown in most of his fights.
Take note that even though fans might say that Gastelum does not deserve to fight for the title if he wins the fight against Whittaker since he just had a back to back loss, he is still the guy that gave Adesanya his toughest fight. Going to the fifth round of their fight, it was 2-2 in the judge’s scorecards. Gastelum has said that he was sick coming to the fight, but it just might be an excuse to make the rematch a bigger fight.
Either way, Adesanya needs to fight and defend his title. The UFC already gave him a chance to become a double champ but he fell short against Jan Blachowicz. A rematch is inevitable and Whittaker has shown to be the best opponent for him but Gastelum could also ruin the plan.