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:
Good job my son.— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) April 18, 2021
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
- 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