Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum will square off at UFC on ESPN 22 in a pivotal middleweight main event matchup.
UFC on ESPN 22 takes place Saturday, April 17 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The event streams on ESPN/ESPN+.
Tuesday, the UFC released the official poster for the event, which features the two headlining participants against a red background. Tears divide the poster into four uneven sections and give the fighters a distorted side-by-side look.
Should he win against Gastelum (16-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC), it’s quite possible Whittaker (22-5 MMA, 13-3 UFC) could be next in line for UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, the man who took the title from him in 2019. As for Gastelum, he’ll look to turn a standalone win into a winning streak.
Whittaker was originally scheduled to square off with Paulo Costa. However, Costa withdrew from the matchup due to lingering COVID-19 effects. Fresh off a win over Ian Heinisch in February, Gastelum stepped in.
Whittaker and Gastelum were paired up once before for a fight that never happened. In February 2019, Whittaker withdrew from UFC 234 hours before the event due to a hernia.
The current UFC on ESPN 22 lineup includes:
- Kelvin Gastelum vs. Robert Whittaker
- Bartosz Fabinski vs. Gerald Meerschaert
- Juan Espino vs. Alexander Romanov
- Drakkar Klose vs. Jeremy Stephens
- Parker Porter vs. Chase Sherman
- Tracy Cortez vs. Justine Kish
- Austin Hubbard vs. Natan Levy
- Alex Munoz vs. Luis Pena
- Bill Algeo vs. Ricardo Ramos
- Hannah Goldy vs. Jessica Penne
- Anthony Birchak vs. Tony Gravely
The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.