More than a few folks thought that Yoel Romero should have had his hand raised in his recent rematch with Robert Whittaker, and it turns out Kelvin Gastelum is one of those people.
Whittaker and Romero battled for a second time at UFC 225 earlier this month, and the middleweight champ emerged with a split decision win via scores of 48-47, 47-48, and 48-47. In the bout’s opening rounds, it looked like Whittaker might cruise to victory, as he outscored Romero in various exchanges. But, Romero went on to drop the champ later in the bout, and he had Whittaker in all sorts of trouble more than once.
“I thought Romero would have been getting the nod, but obviously he didn’t,” Gastelum said. “And selfishly I thought, I was hoping they’d give it to Whittaker. Just because Romero had missed weight, he wouldn’t have been getting the belt and then it just would have created this whole scenario where I’m definitely not getting the next shot. It just wouldn’t be a position where I would be fighting for a title any time soon.”
Now, it doesn’t look like many people are saying Romero was outright robbed. After all, it was a pretty competitive bout. But, many have argued that Romero should have definitely been given a 10-8 in the fifth, due to the new scoring guidelines.
All this aside, it remains to be seen who is next for Whittaker. Gastelum has been campaigning for a bout with the champ, but after UFC 225, Dana White said the contender had some “personal issues” to address. During the aforementioned interview, Gastelum said he has no idea what White is talking about.
The heavy handed fighter also reported that the UFC called and asked if he’d be ready to go, if needed. But, according to Gastelum, his manager didn’t reach a deal with the UFC to set that up as a possibility. But, when it looked like Romero might miss weight, the promotion called Gastelum’s manager anyways, but the former welterweight was already vacationing in Mexico.
“I was dumbfounded,” Gastelum said. “Because I don’t know where those comments are coming from. I just figured he was upset over me not taking the fight a day-and-a-half before.”
Gastelum said he hopes to sit down with White to sort this all out. If they can, then don’t be surprised if Gastelum’s next for Whittaker.