Robert Whittaker vs Kelvin Gastelum headlines UFC 234 Melbourne
UFC 234: Robert Whittaker faces Kelvin Gastelum / Pic: via Facebook

UFC 234: Whittaker defends MW title against Gastelum

UFC 234 takes place at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on February 10. Middleweight title fight tops the bill featuring the defending champion, New Zealand-born Australian Robert Whittaker up against American Kelvin Gastelum, who is currently ranked No.4 in the division. The championship bout has been formally announced by UFC President Dana White, Tuesday.

Robert Whittaker (20-4) is riding a nine-fight win streak. He won UFC Middleweight interim title in July 2017 scoring a unanimous decision against Yoel Romero. He was promoted to an undisputed champion later the same year, when Georges St-Pierre vacated the belt due to illness.

Whittaker was expected to make his first title defense in February this year facing Luke Rockhold, but the bout fell off when the champion was forced to withdraw due to illness. Romero took the fight and knocked Rockhold out in the third round, as well as secured a title shot.

In June Whittaker faced Romero for the second time, making the first defending of his middleweight title. He retained the belt taking a split decision.

Kelvin Gastelum (15-3, 1 NC) is riding a two fight win streak. In his previous bout in May he took a split decision against Ronaldo Souza. Last November he scored the first-round knockout win against Michael Bisping.

The next event Ultimate Fighting Championship produces in Australia takes place at Adelaide Entertainment Centre on December 2. UFC Fight Night 142 is headlined by a heavyweight battle between Tai Tuivasa and Junior dos Santos.