The UFC 234 main event has been officially announced, as the UFC revealed on Tuesday that, as expected, Robert Whittaker would face Kelvin Gastelum on the Australian PPV card.
Australia’s UFC 234 main event is set. As expected, middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will defend his 185lb title against Kelvin Gastelum atop the card. The pair, currently coaching opposite one another on The Ultimate Fighter 28, have long been expected to face off. The only question was where and when. With UFC 234 previously being announced for Melbourne, Australia in February, the smart money was on it.
That means Gastelum (15–3 (1)) will head behind enemy lines to challenge for the middleweight title. The former Ultimate Fighter winner, who attempted to drop to welterweight after the show only to struggle to make weight, defeated Jacare Souza last time out at UFC 224. That split decision came roughly six months after Gastelum knocked out former champ Michael Bisping at UFC Shaghai.
With Jacare defeating Chris Weidman at UFC 230 earlier this month, Gastelum is the clear-cut number one contender in the division at the moment.
Whittaker (20-4), meanwhile, will technically be defending his title for the first time. Whittaker won the interim championship at UFC 213, defeating Yoel Romero. Promoted to undisputed champ when Georges St. Pierre vacated the championship he won from Michael Bisping, Whittaker was set to defend the belt against Luke Rockhold at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia earlier this year. However, an injury to Whittaker forced him off the card; Romero stepped up on short notice, defeating Rockhold. That led to a rematch between Whittaker and Romero at UFC 225 in June, only for Romero to miss weight, making it a non-title affair.
With Whittaker vs. Gastelum set, hopefully a little bit of sanity can return to the division. UFC 234 takes place at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia on February 10, 2019.