A pair of moderate-weight fighters will head to the front for UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Gastelum on Saturday when top rival Robert Whittaker faced 8 Kelvin Gastelum. The main UFC fighting card starts at 10 p.M. ET at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, and the winner will put themselves in a position to play with middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Whittaker and Gastelum were due to fight at UFC 234 in February 2019, but their mid-match title was scratched because Whittaker needed emergency surgery.
UFC Vegas 24 card Schedule
Robert Whittaker vs Kelvin Gastelum
Jeremy Stephens vs Drakkar Klose
Andrei Arlovski vs Chase Sherman
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs Jacob Malkoun
Luis Pena vs Alex Munoz
Time: 10:00pm ET / 7:00pm PT
Tracy Cortez vs Justine Kish
Alexandr Romanov vs Juan Espino
Jessica Penne vs Lupita Godinez
Bartosz Fabinski vs Gerald Meerschaert
Austin Hubbard vs Dakota Bush
Tony Gravley vs Anthony Birchak
Time: 7:00pm ET / 4:00pm PT
Date: Saturday, April 17, 2021
Venue: UFC Apex Las Vegas, Nevada – United States.
Whittaker vs Gastelum preview:
Whittaker won the UFC Middleweight Championship in July 2017 in Joel Romero, but he never officially defended it because the fight was fought at catchweight when Romero lost weight, while his emergency surgery forced Whittaker’s dismissal. When Whittaker returned to action, he was knocked out in the second round by interim champion Israel Adesanya.
However, Whittaker responded by winning Darren Till and Jared Cannonier to improve his record to 22-5. He is now the No. 1 rival in this category and is ready to repeat with Adesanya if he passes Gastelum. He is the most successful of the two, reaching 4.82 key players per minute in his UFC career to Gastelum’s 3.64.
Meanwhile, Gastelum (16-6-1) would like to get his name back on the title race with a victory after going five rounds with Adesanya and losing the temporary band decision at UFC 236. That fight won the Fight of the Night honors, with all three judges winning 48-46 in Adesanya after these fighters split the first four rounds.
After the defeat, Gastelum was again defeated in his next two fights against Till and Jack Hermansson but returned to the winning column in February with a decision by Ian Heinisch. Gastelum has reached the top six in this winning career. You can only see Marley’s favorite selection of Gastelum and Whittaker here.
UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Gastelum expert predictions:
We will share one of Marley’s predictions for UFC Vegas 24 here: Supporting Luis Pena (-145) to defeat Alex Munoz (+125) in a game of easy hope.
Pena (8-3) will return to Octagon for the first time since being suspended for four and a half months after being found in possession of marijuana. He was expected to return in February, but his rival, Drakkar Klose, was forced to cancel after his corner was found to contain COVID-19. Pena has lost two of the last three.
Munoz (6-1) comes from the first loss of his career, which was a unanimous decision by Nasrat Haqparast at UFC Fight Night in August 2020. Of his six wins, two were knocks.