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Kelvin Gastelum replaces Paulo Costa to face Robert Whittaker on April 17

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Kelvin Gastelum has filled in for Paulo Costa to face Robert Whittaker next month.

Kelvin Gastelum during a media day at UFC 244
Kelvin Gastelum during a media day at UFC 244
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Almost two years after they were supposed to fight at UFC 234, Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum will meet at a UFC event on April 17.

ESPN first reported the news. Gastelum replaces Paulo Costa just one day after the Brazilian pulled out of his scheduled fight with Whittaker due to “severe flu”. Once coaches on season 28 of The Ultimate Fighter, Whittaker’s fight with Gastelum in February 2019 was cancelled just hours before the event because Whittaker required emergency surgery.

Whittaker (22-5) is unbeaten since losing the UFC middleweight title to Israel Adesanya in 2019. “The Reaper” has won decisions against top contenders Darren Till and Jared Cannonier in his last two fights. Following his win over Cannonier, Whittaker said he deserves a title shot against Adesanya next.

Gastelum (16-6, 1 NC) recently defeated Ian Heinisch to pick up his first win in almost three years. The 29-year-old had dropped his last three fights in the UFC before the victory, being submitted by Jack Hermansson and losing decisions to Till and Adesanya.

Whittaker vs. Gastelum will headline the UFC on ESPN+ 46 card on April 17.