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Kelvin Gastelum: Whittaker doesn’t want to fight me because I’m a horrible match-up for him

“I think I give him the most difficult time if we step in the cage and I think he knows that.”

Surging UFC middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum believes he should be next in line for a title shot against Robert Whittaker.

But, according to Gastelum, ‘The Reaper’ is avoiding him because he knows it would be the toughest fight of his career.

“I know that he’s been offered the fight against me twice and he has not been wanting to fight me,” Gastelum told Luke Thomas on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, per MMA Fighting’s Marc Raimondi. “And I think that’s for good reason. I think I give him the most difficult time if we step in the cage and I think he knows that. In my opinion, I match up horribly for him.”

Whittaker, 27, fought feared middleweight contender Yoel Romero in a Fight of the Night epic at UFC 225 and edged out a split decision win. The New Zealander also beat Romero via unanimous decision in 2017 and is the only fighter under the UFC banner to topple ‘The Soldier of God’.

Gastelum, like many other fighters, scored the rematch for Romero but is glad that Whittaker earned the win.

“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.”

Gastelum might feel he matches up well with Whittaker and is most deserving of a title shot, but there’s another top contender inching his way back to the belt. Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, who submitted Gastelum last year at UFC on FOX 25, believes he should be the one to challenge Whittaker as he’s most likely to get the finish.

Weidman, however, hasn’t fought since July of last year and has been sidelined due to injury.

26-year-old Gastelum, on the other hand, has picked up two big wins over Michael Bisping and Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza in the last year and thinks ‘All-American’ should wait his turn.

“I don’t know how he feels he deserves it,” Gastelum said. “He’s been injured, he’s been out, unfortunately. But that’s just the way it goes. He says he’s the most decorated fighter, but that’s in the past, man. We’re talking about now. Active fighters, fighters who are winning fights and fighting in the big fights, they should be rewarded. And that should be me.”

“Chris Weidman thinks that he should get the shot over me?. I was ranked ninth when he fought me. He was coming off a three-fight skid. Since we fought, I’ve fought two top-five guys, two former champions.”

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