Robert 'The Reaper' Whittaker has now claimed his third straight win in the octagon after defeating No 8- ranked middleweight Kelvin Gastelum in their main event tussle at UFC Vegas 24 in Las Vegas yesterday.
Thank you to everyone for all the support. I don't get here on my strength alone and I'm blessed to be apart of a team that always has my back. Time to kick the feet up, heal and plan out the next path of war. @ufc @UFC_AUSNZ #UFCVegas24 #TeamWhittaker #ReaperNation pic.twitter.com/HVXMbdYL3g— Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) April 18, 2021
The fight, two years after it was originally scheduled, was one-sided, with the Ngāi Tahu fighter dominating the American with fast hands inside the cage, eventually going the distance to claim a unanimous decision victory.
'Bobby Knuckles' lived up to his nickname, landing 169 of 303 of his total strikes on Gastelum, and also landing over half of his significant strikes.
Talking with UFC commentator Micahel Bisping after the fight, Whittaker, who is also an Aussie these days, surprised himself in how many takedowns he was able to get on Gastelum, considering the latter is known for his wrestling experience.
'Bobby Knuckles' continues to dominate! Credit source: YouTube.com/UFC
"It's funny, my striking is the best it's ever been -we focused on it a lot during this camp obviously. But I have never wrestled this much in a camp than I have for this fight," he says.
Comparing the two fighters' takedown statistics, Whittaker landed four of seven takedowns and Gasatelum had one of five.
With Whittaker holding on to the number one contender's rank, he had some words for a familiar foe: the current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
"Nothing but respect, honestly he's a great fighter.
"But I think we should talk mate, it's about time we crossed paths once again. I think we can get a sold-out stadium. They might even open the borders for Australia in September, so let's see if we can get a stadium back home."
'The Last Stylebender' was quick to congratulate Whittaker's performance, in typical Adesanya fashion.
Good job my son.— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) April 18, 2021