At UFC 234, the middleweight division was expected to get a whole lot clearer.
Robert Whittaker was set to defend his title against Kelvin Gastelum in the main event, Meanwhile, in the co-main, Israel Adesanya was taking on Anderson Silva for the number one contender spot. Well, everything changed when Whittaker had to pull out of the fight due to a hernia, and having emergency surgery.
Now, after Adesanya defeated Silva, the question remains on whether or not he should leapfrog Gastelum and get the next title shot.
“I don’t see what momentum you’re talking about,” Gastelum said. “The fight that I saw was a great fight, but it reminded me of The Matrix. They are dodging punches, dodging kicks, dodging bullets and it’s all very exciting theatrics. And that’s what the fight between Israel and Anderson reminded me of. It was just exciting theatrics. A lot of showboating.”
“He beat a 43-year old Anderson Silva. I’m not sure that’s a claim for a title shot. But if the UFC decides he’s No. 1 contender and gets to skips the five guys in front of him, then so be it. I guess I will fight the No. 1 contender and defend my title,” Gastelum continued, reaffirming that he now considers himself the middleweight champion.
While Adesanya has gone 5-0 in a calendar year in the UFC, many are still saying he is over-hyped. Well, Gastelum doesn’t believe he is over-hyped but needs one more fight to get a title shot.
“He’s not over-hyped. I mean it is in a way but he deserves it. He talks well, fights well, but the performance he showed on Saturday was not title-worthy in my opinion. It was all just very exciting theatrics. When I fight, I put guys away. He wasn’t able to put a 43-year old Anderson away. I felt I would’ve done a different sort of job.”
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime