Now that UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has gotten past Yoel Romero for the second time, the 185-pound class finally has some clarity.
Well, sort of.
The next shot at Whittaker’s middleweight title is ultimately down to two men. Either former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman gets another crack at gold or former welterweight contender Kelvin Gastelum makes good on his middleweight potential.
Leading the charge is Weidman, who recently declared himself the “most decorated guy in the division,” pointing out the fact that he beat Gastelum via submission when the two met back at UFC on FOX 25 last year.
Gastelum, who followed his first-round knockout victory over former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping with a split-decision win over Brazilian legend Ronaldo Souza this past May, took offense to Weidman’s comments. The former Ultimate Fighter winner believes he has done enough at 185 pounds to earn the next shot at Whittaker’s strap.
Gastelum took to Twitter earlier this week to plead his case and talk a little smack:
CHRISPY— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) June 13, 2018
-your argument for consideration for a title shot is based upon being the "most decorated", then Whittaker should fight the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center this Fall...
Never shy to speak his mind, Weidman returned the favor and pointed out the fact that he beat Gastelum head-to-head in his last Octagon appearance.
Chrispy??? Now it’s personal...my argument is simple. I am ranked ahead of YOU and I finished YOU in my last fight. https://t.co/EaqAPvdINm— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) June 14, 2018
At this point, it’s difficult to determine which middleweight deserves the next shot at Whittaker, who is coming off a split-decision win over Romero at UFC 225.
Weidman, 33, is a former champion who holds victories over notable UFC greats like Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, and Lyoto Machida, but the New York native has lost three out of his last four.
Gastelum, 26, has compiled a 3-1, 1 NC record since joining the division back in 2016. And even though Weidman holds a win over him, Kelvin’s recent success inside of the cage warrants immediate title consideration.
What say you, Maniacs? Who deserves the next UFC middleweight title shot?