Robert Whittaker found out it was Henry Cejudo’s idea for Kelvin Gastelum to hold a belt at UFC 234 earlier this year.
Whittaker and Gastelum were set to collide for the UFC Middleweight Championship in the pay-per-view headliner in Melbourne. However, the champion had to pull out on the day of the fight after requiring surgery.
Gastelum would still attend the event and was controversially wearing a UFC belt on his shoulder, claiming to be the real champion following Whittaker’s pullout. Many felt it was a disrespectful move and also unlike Gastelum.
While that might have caused more tension between them, that’s not the case, as Whittaker claims to have a better relationship with Gastelum now.
“I like him now,” Whittaker said on Grange TV. “When I was about to fight him, I hated him. I wouldn’t even eat Mexican food. I’m dead serious. I just couldn’t. I was just angry at him and all of Mexico at that point.
“But since then, I spoke to him, said ‘I’m so sorry for what happened last fight.’ Because I didn’t want that to happen.”
Whittaker also revealed Gastelum apologized to him for the whole belt show. He then found out it was originally Cejudo’s idea, which given the two-weight champion’s persona, isn’t that much of a surprise.
“It’s completely different,” Whittaker added when asked further about his relationship with Gastelum. “I have positive feelings toward him now. I said, ‘it was a killer fight. I’m so sorry it happened like this.’ He actually said sorry for doing the little show he put on with the belt and stuff. He felt like he had to do it.
“You know what I found out as well? Guess what? You know whose idea it was? Cejudo’s. Of course it was!”