This weekend, in the main event of UFC 234, UFC middleweight champ Robert Whittaker will attempt to defend his title opposite dangerous challenger Kelvin Gastelum.
Heading into this fight, Kelvin Gastelum has boldly predicted that he’ll knock Robert Whittaker out in the first round.
“I’m predicting a first-round knockout,” Gastelum said during a late January media day in Los Angeles (via MMA Fighting). “I’ve put in so much work and I feel so confident in my abilities and confident in what I’ve done in the sport that I’m predicting a first-round knockout.”
“When I say things like, ‘I’m going to knock him out in the first round,’ I mean it, but I’m ready for a 25-minute war,” Gastelum added in a recent interview with MMAjunkie, doubling-down on his promise to knock Whittaker out in a round. “But when I see Rob, I just see hard work. I see a lot of heart. I see a lot of will. Just like me – I don’t bring a lot of special abilities like, let’s say, Israel Adesanya. He has a special talent. I’m not necessarily the greatest striker or the greatest wrestler or the greatest jiu-jitsu guy. I’m just in there to win fights, and that’s what I think that Rob is good at, too.”
Speaking at the UFC 234 pre-fight press conference in Melbourne this week, Robert Whittaker finally responded to these comments from Gastelum.
He doesn’t seem worried.
“He might,” he said of Gastelum’s prediction, getting a few laughs out of the crowd. “He’s got a good punch on him. But a lot of other people have said that and I hit pretty hard myself. It’s a fight, we’re going to go in there and throw hands and see what happens.”
Who do you think will come out on top when Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum fight at UFC 234?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/8/2019.