Kelvin Gastelum feels Robert Whittaker owes him one, which is why he called out the former middleweight champion recently.
Both fighters are coming off recent losses. Whittaker recently lost his middleweight title following a knockout loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243. Gastelum, meanwhile, is coming off a unanimous decision defeat to Darren Till which puts him on a two-fight winning streak.
UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal is this weekend!
Three title fights are scheduled for UFC Fight Island on Saturday, July 11. Order the PPV now on ESPN+.
Eager to end what is the first losing skid of his professional career, Gastelum recently called out Whittaker last week.
The two were scheduled to clash for the middleweight title back in February for UFC 234. However, Whittaker suffered an abdominal hernia the night before the fight and required surgery.
12 week camp: ✅
10lb weight cut: ✅
Weigh ins: 184lbs ✅
Fight day: No Show ❌ (Bubblegut problems)
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) December 5, 2019
And although Gastelum has dropped in the rankings, he feels Whittaker should return the favor.
“I feel like in a certain way, he owes me the fight,” Gastelum told MMA Fighting recently. “He didn’t show up on fight night. Obviously, he had that incident. Had to have emergency surgery…which is great. But you know, throw me a bone now. You took that opportunity from me, unfortunately, because of that accident. I think he should return the favor.
“In this game, nobody is deserving of anything. You have to earn it. At the same time, I’m trying to pick a fight. Yeah, that’s the guy I want to fight. He’s the number one guy in my division. I feel like I’m still the number one guy in my mind. Obviously, the rankings are there. I’m not the number one guy but in my head, I feel like I can be the number one guy.”
Gastelum notably called for a fight to happen at UFC London which takes place on March 21. While he’s not heard anything back as of yet, he is eager to fight Whittaker there.
“No, I haven’t heard anything back,” he added. “But I am trying to work on making the fight happen. … I’ve always wanted to fight in London. London, for me, I feel like is one of those hot spots like New York, Las Vegas. London in Europe, I feel like it’s a Mecca for fighting. I would love to be able to fight there. I think it would be a big show.”
It’s certainly a good option for a main event.