Kelvin Gastelum has made it clear that he wants to run it back with welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, but following his emphatic win today at UFC Fight Night 122, Gastelum’s calling for a title fight with Robert Whittaker.
Gastelum faced Michael Bisping in the headliner of the Shanghai card, and proceeded to take out the former middleweight champ with a crushing left, and follow up punches. With the win, Gastelum has gone 2-1, with 1 no-contest, in his latest run as a middleweight.The no-contest, however, was due to the fact Gastelum tested positive for marijuana, after he cruised through Vitor Belfort in March.
Well, following today’s impressive win, Gastelum relayed the following (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I’m here to focus on my career and get where I need to be, which is the middleweight title.”
“‘GSP’ said it himself – anything can happen in the sport of MMA,” said Gastelum, while referring to the fact that St-Pierre has been non-committal, in terms of whether he’s going to remain at 185 and defend the belt. “I feel like Robert Whittaker and I should be next. We’re two young guys; we haven’t even hit our prime yet. I just beat the guy who was the guys, so I feel I should be next.”
“You guys say I beat up all the elderly, and Robert Whittaker is definitely not elderly – I think he’s probably my age. So I’m up for the challenge.”
So, there’s a few things to unpack here. First, obviously the UFC is going to wait and see what GSP wants to do. The legendary fighter has said he’s contractually obligated to fight Whittaker next, and Dana White has said that bout’s next. But, chances are that if GSP offers to vacate the title, and proposes an even bigger bout, it’s hard to imagine the UFC won’t be on board.
If that happens, then yes, the UFC will need to find an opponent for Whittaker. There’s no doubt that from a stylistic perspective, Whittaker – Gastelum has the makings of something special. But, Gastelum is coming off a submission loss to Chris Weidman, so, it’s kind of hard to imagine that the UFC would pass over the former champ in this situation.