Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
The poster for UFC Vegas 24 is out ahead of a big middleweight matchup over two years in the making.
Former champion Robert Whittaker and top contender Kelvin Gastelum will finally square off in the headliner for the event at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Gastelum is serving as a replacement for Paulo Costa, who was forced to withdraw from the pivotal 185-pound bout due to an illness.
Check out the poster below.
— UFC (@ufc) March 30, 2021
Whittaker and Gastelum were supposed to clash for the middleweight title in the main event of UFC 234 in February 2019. On the day of the fight, Whittaker was forced to withdraw from the bout after suffering a hernia that hospitalized him the night prior.
In his next appearance eight months later, Whittaker would go on to lose the title to Israel Adesanya via a second-round KO at UFC 243. “The Reaper” bounced back with a pair of victories over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier to get him closer to another crack at the championship.
Gastelum also lost to Adesanya in an interim title fight at UFC 236 which began a three-fight losing streak—which also included a split decision loss to Till at UFC 244 and an opening round submission loss to Jack Hermansson in July at UFC Fight Island 2. The 29-year-old got back to his winning ways at UFC 258 in February when he earned a unanimous decision over Ian Heinisch.
Here is how the UFC Vegas 24 fight card, which will stream on ESPN+, currently looks: