Kelvin Gastelum was not impressed with Robert Whittaker’s performance against Israel Adesanya at UFC 243.
The former UFC middleweight champion was knocked out in the second round after being caught with a counter left hook, and Gastelum believes he would have finished ‘The Reaper’ in similar fashion had Whittaker not pulled out of their headlining bout at UFC 234 back in February.
Speaking to MMA Fighting in a recent interview Gastelum, who gave Adesanya his toughest fight to date in a Fight of the Night classic at UFC 236, said Whittaker made a huge mistake in trying to head hunt ‘The Last Stylebender’ from the opening bell.
“I think it was rather disappointing the way that he performed,” Gastelum said, per BJPenn.com. “The reason I say that is I feel like I was robbed of an opportunity, and for him to go out there and perform the way that he did, was rather disappointing for me. I think I would’ve dropped him like a sack of potatoes in February and he robbed me of that opportunity.”
“He didn’t look good,” Gastelum continued. “I think he tried to imitate or take some things from my fight, 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 just 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 approach, and it didn’t end up well for him.”
Gastelum, who ultimately lost to Adesanya via unanimous decision, will look to rebound with a win over former welterweight title challenger Darren Till at UFC 244. The highly anticipated pay-per-view, which features a headlining welterweight bout between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz, takes place later this year, Nov. 2 at Madison Square Garden, New York.