The UFC Vegas 24 main card just witnessed the company’s former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, put on a masterful performance in a unanimous decision win over former title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum. The counters of Whittaker were dialed in all night, as was his footwork and wrestling for that matter. Robert won each round on every scorecard, and has now amassed a three-fight winning streak since losing his title to Israel Adesanya.
The middleweights started trading right away, exchanging hard leg kicks back and forth. Whittaker started to counter with his hands as Gastelum pressed forward, and then staggered Kelvin with a head kick. The former champ changed levels and put Gastelum on his back. He controlled from the top of half guard, sprinkling in strikes when he could. Gastelum finally stood up with about 20-seconds to go.
The second round started hot, with a violent flurry from both men. Whittaker went back to countering, since Gastelum was willing to march forward. Gastelum gave up a short lived takedown, but was quick to stand back up. He struggled to get his offense going, and ate another Bobby Knuckles head kick that visibly shook him.
Just as Gastelum started to gain some steam at the beginning of the third act, he accidentally clipped the former champ low. After a short break, Whittaker went back to his head kick and Gastelum again ate it. Kelvin kept throwing his combinations and kept pressing forward, but the counters of Whittaker, and frankly the polish, was making life quite challenging.
The fourth frame saw more of the same. Gastelum pressed forward with gusto, throwing his hands and trying top win, but the problem was that Whittaker was just too smooth, too fast, and too polished. Gastelum did change levels and score a takedown with about a minute to go, but Whittaker instantly popped back up to his feet and went right back to work. The fifth frame looked almost identical to the previous four. The difference being he was able to score a takedown and maintain control with about two-minutes to go in the fight.