Robert Whittaker Wonders If Adesanya & Gastelum Are Fighting For Henry Cejudo’s Title Belt


Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum are competing for the vacant UFC Interim Middleweight Title in the co-main event of UFC 236.

UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker, who will fight the winner at a future date, is wondering just who’s belt the two are fighting for.

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“I was happy for them,” Whittaker said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (via MMA Fighting). “I think it’s good. I think it’s good for both of them. I think they jumped the queue a little bit and I feel for the other middleweight contenders, the top dudes, but I think it’s good for them to fight it out, to have to have that run before they get a shot at me. I need a little bit of time and they’ve got something to do now. A better thing to ask is are Adesanya and Gastelum gonna fight for Cejudo’s belt? [Laughing] Or is it gonna be a new one? Does he give it back? I’m not sure.”

The reason that UFC Flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo was brought up was due to the fact that Gastelum could be seen posing with a title belt during UFC 234, which was actually Cejudo’s belt.

Whittaker may be hoping that Adesanya wins the interim title in the end, since the middleweight champion says that Adesanya is the better style match up for him.

“I think, stylistically for us, I think Adesanya matches up better for me,” Whittaker said. “I think I can get inside his guard and I can put heat on him. I think Gastelum is a hard fight because he’s a tough guy with a thick head and he would have just put the pressure on, put the pace on. I think Adesanya doesn’t like pacing like that sort of way, I think he would try and play a distance game with me which I’m very happy to do, but I’m very quick and I surprise a lot of people with that. That’s not an easier fight, wrong word. It’s a better fight for me. Plus, of course, with the area and our countries, I think it would be a great matchup.”

UFC 236 takes place on Saturday, April 13 from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia with Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.

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