Former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker was supposed to fight Paulo Costa at UFC Vegas 24 this weekend. However, that bout was changed last month when Costa pulled out of the event because of the fact that he’s yet to fully recover from COVID-19. Instead, Whittaker will take on former Ultimate Fighter winner Kelvin Gastelum on Saturday, April 17.
The event can be watched on ESPN+.
Both men are extremely talented in their own right and are seen as some of the best the middleweight division has to offer. They were also supposed to clash back in 2019, but that was cancelled for multiple reasons. Now, they’ll get a chance to show the world what they’re capable of.
Even though this isn’t the initial fight that was planned, fans should still end up being entertained. In order to add even more excitement, some fans may even end up betting on the event.
In that case, it’s important to know that BetOnline is favoring Robert Whittaker in the fight. His odds of being victorious this weekend stand at -270.
UFC Vegas 24: Robert Whittaker (22-5-0) vs. Kelvin Gastelum Odds (16-6-1)
Odds via BetOnline as of Wednesday, April 14
- Whittaker (-270) vs. Gastelum (+230)
- OVER/UNDER: Over 4.5 rounds (-150), Under 4.5 Rounds (+120)
Whittaker the Favorite Entering UFC Vegas 24
At just 30 years old, Robert Whittaker has already had an impressive UFC career. He’s a former middleweight titleholder and has won Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night multiple times. He’s entering UFC Vegas 24 with a 22-5-0 record and only has one loss since June 2014, which came at UFC 243 against Israel Adesanya. That was also the fight when he lost the UFC Middleweight Championship.
Robert Whittaker is just an all-around, well-balanced fighter. He’s won nine of his fights by knockout, eight by decision and five by submission. He continues to impress and get better with age, leading to some people viewing him as one of the best middleweights today.
If you want to give Whittaker another edge heading into the fight, you could possibly look at his and Gastelum’s recent clash with Darren Till. Gastelum fought Till at UFC 244 back in 2019, only to lose to him via split decision. On the other hand, Whittaker fought Till at a Fight Night in July 2020, winning by unanimous decision. While this is no guarantee that Robert Whittaker will dispose of Kelvin Gastelum, it does help shift the odds in his favor.
Overall, Whittaker will need to win this fight if he wants to jump back into the middleweight title picture.
Can Kelvin Gastelum Upset Robert Whittaker?
The Ultimate Fighter 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum is the +230 underdog entering UFC Vegas 24. Unfortunately for him, his career was heading a bit south as of late. Gastelum had lost three fights in a row before Ian Heinisch at UFC 258. Now, he’ll try to string together his first win streak since he won two in a row between 2017 and 2018.
Despite Robert Whittaker being the favorite this weekend, it’s not impossible for Gastelum to win. He has the footwork and cardio to go the distance, as evident by his career. In Gastelum’s 23 professional MMA fights, 10 of them have gone the distance, including four of his last five. If he wants to have the best shot at beating Whittaker and getting back into the UFC Middleweight Championship picture, Gastelum is going to have to tire out his opponent this Saturday.
Either way, this fight should be a good one and could shake up the middleweight picture going forward.