This Saturday, a pair of interim title fights will headline UFC 236. Kelvin Gastelum (15-3-0-) and Israel Adesanya (16-0) will be looking to capture “interim” gold in the co-main and set themselves up for a later date with Middleweight Champ Robert Whittaker and unify the belts.
A post shared by Kelvin Gastelum (@kgastelum) on Feb 23, 2019 at 10:37am PST
Gastelum is coming off two straight wins; one against former middleweight king Michael Bisping, who will be inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame this July at International Fight Week, and Jacare Souza. As for “the last stylebender” he is yet to be defeated and has won all 5 of his UFC contests with 2 of those wins byby TKO. His most impressive to date was his most recent win against Anderson Silva. A match that was just as technical as it was anticipated. The fight definitely lived up to the hype and served as a sort of passing of the torch between Anderson and Adesanya.
A post shared by Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) on Feb 11, 2019 at 5:48pm PST
During a presser earlier in the year, Gastelum and Adesanya had their first face-off and it immediately became evident that Adesanya had the height advantage by nearly 7 inches and reach advantage of right under 9 inches, toweringover the much smaller Gastelum. What some may not know is that Adesanya is actually older than Gastelum by 2 years and is 1 year older than the current champ Robert Whittaker. The division and more importantly the future of the Middleweight division is definitely in good hands with these 3 warriors at the top barely reaching their prime.
A post shared by Kelvin Gastelum (@kgastelum) on Mar 1, 2019 at 6:15pm PST
With that being said, the stage is set for Gastelum and Adesanya. On the biggest night of their careers, they will both be fighting for their first shot at gold in the UFC. Gastelum has lights out power and can put you out with one punch, just ask Bisping. He will be looking to leave the octagon with a gold belt around his waist that is finally his and not Henry Cejudos.claiming the day has emotional significance to him and that it’ll “ be hard to defeat me on that day”. While Adesanya has the technical and precise striking needed to defeat the brilliance that is Anderson Silva. He also believes that he will “roll over” Gastelum but credited his “Mexican” style of fighting and spirit as a way of exciting himself. In a 5 round battle, only one style will prevail when two of the middleweights best collide with the gold on the line.
Catch all the action live on ESPN+ this Saturday, April 13, 2019!