It has not taken long for fighters to come out of the woodworks and take shots at former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.
Whittaker lost his UFC middleweight title to Israel Adesanya by second round knockout at UFC 243 in Melbourne over the weekend.
As the dust continues to settle after the event, middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum has fired off a brutal assessment on Whittaker’s performance.
“I think it was rather disappointing the way he performed,” Gastelum said in an interview with MMA Fighting.
“The reason I say that is because I feel like I was robbed of an opportunity. For him to go out and perform the way that he did was rather disappointing for me. I think I would have dropped him like a sack of potatoes in February and he robbed me of that opportunity, he didn’t look good.”
Gastelum was set to fight Rob Whittaker in Melbourne at UFC 234 in February, but the fight did not take place after Whittaker was rushed to hospital on fight day with an internal hernia.
While Whittaker recovered from surgery, Gastelum would go on to lose an interim middleweight title fight against Israel Adesanya this past April. The potential ‘fight of the year’ was Adesanya’s toughest in the UFC to date, with Gastelum hurting Adesanya on a number of occasions before the Kiwi showed tremendous heart to come back and win the fight by unanimous decision.
“I think he tried to imitate or take some things from my fight,” Gastelum continued.
“Like where he was lunging in and kind of moving in with his head. I just figured he tried to take some of the stuff from my fight and implement it and it didn’t end up going well. He didn’t have the right footwork; he didn’t have the right head movement; he didn’t have the right boxing or right approach and it didn’t go well for him.”
Gastelum is set to take on Darren Till at UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden on November third (AEST). The fight will be Till’s first fight at middleweight with many suggesting the winner may take on Rob Whittaker.
Nate Diaz will fight Jorge Masvidal in the main event for the newly created “BMF” belt.