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Robert Whittaker dominates Kelvin Gastelum, calls for Israel Adesanya rematch

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Robert Whittaker took a highly-anticipated UFC Fight Night main event matchup against Kelvin Gastelum and made it his very own showcase.

Whittaker thoroughly dominated Gastelum in an all-around effort to score a unanimous decision shutout Saturday night. All three judges scored it 50-45 in favor of Whittaker at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. DAZN News had it 50-45 for Whittaker as well.

Fresh off the dominating victory, Whittaker flashed an ear-to-ear grin when the talk of a possible rematch with middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was broached.

"I think it's about time we crossed paths once again," said Whittaker, who suffered a second-round KO loss to Adesanya in November 2019, having bounced back to win three straight fights since. "I'm going to work hard. I think I have some tricks he hasn't seen yet and I'll give him a good run."

He added that he would like the rematch to take place back home.

Adesanya took notice of Whittaker's performance and responded with a sarcastic tweet:

While it remains to be seen if Whittaker can flash new tricks in a rematch against Adesanya, Whittaker did produce an all-around brilliant performance Saturday night by delivering excellent shot selection, movement, and spacing en route to the landslide victory.

The shorter Gastelum had to literally give chase to Whittaker. When Gastelum was able to land a shot, Whittaker made it a point to connect with two of his own. During other sequences, Whittaker simply kept a healthy space from Gastelum's clubbing power with a crisp jab that came as part of stinging combinations. The former middleweight champ also used exceptional lateral movement around the Octagon to stifle Gastelum and facilitate his shot selection.

With the fight well in hand midway through the fifth round, Whittaker pulled off a shrewd takedown to eat time off the clock and secure the victory. By the end of the fight, Whittaker had racked up 103 strikes to Gastelum's 64 and added four total takedowns. 

It was a masterful performance from Whittaker, who would like nothing more than another shot at Adesanya later this year.

Here's how the entire Whittaker vs. Gastelum card went.

UFC Fight Night: Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum card

Main card

  • Robert Whittaker def. Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45); Middleweights
  • Andrei Arlovski def. Chase Sherman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28); Heavyweights
  • Jacob Malkoun def. Abdul Razak Alhassan by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27); Middleweights
  • Tracy Cortez def. Justine Kish via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27); Flyweights
  • Luis Pena def. Alex Munoz by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29); Lightweights
 

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Whittaker pitches shutout in unanimous decision

After five rounds, all three judges have it 50-45 in favor of Robert Whittaker.

Whittaker-Gastelum; Round 5

Whittaker and Gastelum both exchange quick fire in the opening seconds. Gastelum continues to give chase, but Whittaker is bouncing around the Octagon laterally exceptionally well. Whittaker is still sticking and moving, frustrating Gastelum. Whittaker doubles up on the jab to brush Gastelum back. Whittaker takes Gastelum down just under the two-minute mark and he's going to try to finish the bout with Gastelum on his back. Gastelum working industriously to get up and he's on his feet, but Whittaker still has his back. A roll and Whittaker still has his back. Whittaker really turned this fight into a showcase. (10-9 Whittaker, 50-45 Whittaker)
 

Whittaker-Gastelum; Round 4

Gastelum with some dirty boxing inside, but Whittaker retorts with a raking elbow. Whittaker's generalship is excellent, as he's keeping a healthy space. Flying knee from Whittaker now. High kick from Whittaker checked by Gastelum. Left, then an uppercut, which splits Gastelum's guard. It feels like every time Gastelum has to work to get inside and land a shot, Whittaker returns two shots of his own the other way. Head kick partially lands for Whittaker. Gastelum takes Whittaker down, but Whittaker springs right back up and declares that space once again. He's back tagging Gastelum with shots, picking the shorter fighter apart. Blood dripping out of Gastelum's ear. (10-9 Whittaker, 40-36 Whittaker)
 

Whittaker-Gastelum; Round 3

Both fighters trading leg kicks. Gastelum is chasing Whittaker and lands a hard left hand. Whittaker retreats around the Octagon quickly. They're back in the middle of the Octagon, where Gastelum remains the aggressor this round. Whittaker now sticking the jab and popping Gastelum's head back. When there's space, Whittaker is able to pick his shots and devour Gastelum on the outside. (10-9 Whittaker, 30-27 Whittaker)
 

Whittaker-Gastelum; Round 2

Gastelum comes out launching a flurry. Moments later, he's stalking Whittaker and throwing a hard left hook. Whittaker takes him down, takes his back, but Gastelum wiggles free. They're up on their feet again. Whittaker with a stinging right hand. Gastelum doubles up on a left hook. And another left hook. Head kick from Whittaker now. Gastelum trying to close the gap, giving chase, but Whittaker greets him with a punch. (10-9 Whittaker, 20-18 Whittaker)
 

Whittaker-Gastelum; Round 1

Whittaker throws a leg kick, as Gastelum chases and launches a leg kick of his own. Gastelum with a few more leg kicks, almost taking Whittaker off his feet. Gastelum pressuring Whittaker well. Whittaker breaks through and brushes Gastelum back with a high kick. Gastelum is hurt and Whittaker follows with a left hook. Gastelum lands a left of his own. Whittaker takes Gastelum down and is trying to pry his arm loose to throw some punches. Whittaker throws a slicing elbow now, too. Whittaker is grinding Gastelum out on the mat. And they're up on their feet. (10-9 Whittaker)
 

The UFC Fight Night main event is next!

Both Gastelum and Whittaker have made their walks to the Octagon and this one is minutes away.

Arlovski with the unanimous decision

Got to hand it to the crafty veteran Arlovski. He landed the cleaner, more significant shots, whether they came during the fighters' exchanges or if he was initiating offense on his own. Judges had it 29-28 across the board.

Arlovski vs. Sherman; Round 3

Arlovski with a left-right combo across the jaw of Sherman, before an accidental low blow. Arlovski, in pain, takes some time to recover and they're back at it. Sherman apologizes and Arlovski greets him with a crisp right hook on the chin. Sherman with a left hook moments later. Halfway through and Arlovski and Sherman are trading shots. 

Arlovski with an overhand right, lunging forward with an extra right hand that connects as well. Arlovski has been the aggressor this round. Another overhand right lands for Arlovski. Final minute, as Arlovski pops Sherman's head back with that crisp, stinging jab. Arlovski with the cleaner shots. Sherman ate too many shots. Arlovski should have his hand raised here. (10-9 Arlovski; 29-28 Arlovski)

 

Arlovski vs. Sherman; Round 2

Both fighters trading shots. Arlovski plants a kick into Sherman's midsection, then goes upstairs with a snapping jab. Arlovski with a jab once again. Then, moments later, the crafty veteran detonates an elbow across the jaw. Another body kick and jab to the face combination. (10-9 Arlovski, 19-19)

Arlovski vs. Sherman; Round 1

Sherman catches Arlovski with a stinging left, before Arlovski throws a quick flurry the other way. Fiery exchanges in the pocket early on. Left from Arlovski grazes Sherman on the chin. Sherman sticks in a right hand. Sherman has Arlovski hurt against the Octagon. (10-9 Sherman) 

Heavyweights about to take the Octagon for the co-main event

The co-main event was supposed to pit Jeremy Stephens against Drakkar Klose, but Klose was injured after being pushed by Stephens during the weigh-in Friday. So, Andrei Arlovski vs. Chase Sherman move into the co-feature.

Complete domination from Malkoun

Alhassan's striking was stifled the entire three-round fight courtesy of Malkoun's grappling. Malkoun did it all from scoring takedowns to threatening submissions and pressing Alhassan against the Octagon. Judges credited him for his wrestling, granting him the 30-27 shutout unanimously.

Malkoun smothering Alhassan on the ground

Alhassan wants to stand up and fight, so what does Malkoun do? Produce four takedowns and grapple the hell out of him in the first round.

Abdul Razak Alhassan and Jacob Malkoun take the Octagon next

This card chugs along with middleweight action upon us.

Cortez takes split decision

Cortez gets the split nod by judges' scores of 29-28, 28-29 and 30-27. Cortez really dominated that first round by launching heavy strikes and trapping Kish in a body triangle. However, the second and third rounds were closer and arguably should have gone to Kish, so this bout could have gone the other way.

Gastelum, Whittaker ready for tonight

Cortez and Kish letting it fly

Meanwhile, Whittaker is getting loose

Tracy Cortez vs. Justine Kish up next

This flyweight tilt should be exciting.

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