Is Robert Whittaker ducking Kelvin Gastelum.
The “Reaper” team recently told the mixed martial arts (MMA) media that Whittaker is expected to make his middleweight return in fall of 2018 and is already lining up a potential 185-pound title defense against ex-champion, Chris Weidman.
Who just so happens to be the most decorated champion who ever lived.
“Chris Weidman thinks that he should get the shot over me? I was ranked ninth when he fought me,” Gastelum told MMA Fighting. “He was coming off a three-fight skid. Since we fought, I’ve fought two top-five guys, two former champions. I don’t know how he feels he deserves it.”
Weidman beat Gastelum by submission roughly one year back, but has been out of action ever since thanks to a bum thumb. In his absence, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 champ captured consecutive victories over Michael Bisping and Ronaldo Souza.
Which is probably why Whittaker wants no part of him.
“I know that he’s been offered the fight against me twice and he has not been wanting to fight me,” Gastelum said. “And I think that’s for good reason. I think I give him the most difficult time if we step in the cage and I think he knows that. In my opinion, I match up horribly for him.”
Whittaker broke his hand in his second consecutive title defense against Yoel Romero at UFC 225 just last month. Assuming No. 2-ranked Luke Rockhold follows through with his move to light heavyweight, the UFC will have to decide between No. 3 Weidman and No. 4 Gastelum.