Robert Whittaker bossed the stand-up battle against Kelvin Gastelum tonight at UFC On ESPN 22 to earn a thoroughly deserved unanimous decision victory.
The middleweight main event is underway in Las Vegas.
Inside calf kick for Whittaker. leg kick attempt from Whittaker and Gastelum throws a punch at the same time.
Leg kick for Gastelum. Good right hand for Whittaker. Now a left hand as Gastelum is pressing forward.
Straight right connects cleanly for Whittaker. Now a nice left hook counter. Whittaker scores again with a hook, but Gastelum coming close with his punches.
Big one-two and a head kick behind it from Whittaker and Gastelum looked dazed from that, but he’s got a great chin.
Another one-two and head kick attempt from Whittaker, but the kick was blocked this time.
Gastelum with a stepping right, but Whittaker counters with a big takedown in the center of the Octagon.
Whittaker postures up, lands a punch and moves to half-guard. Body punches for Whittaker. Now a slicing elbow.
Whittaker looking to pass, but Gastelum keeps him locked down in half-guard. Eventually Gastelum gets to his knees, eats a punch and then gets to his feet.
Gastelum takes the center of the Octagon but it’s Whittaker who lands a final front kick to the body.
Inside leg kick for Whittaker. Gastelum with a left-right, but Whittaker lands a cleaner punch on the counter.
Straight left for Gastelum. Another left comes off the guard. Jab for Gastelum as he presses into range. Kick for Whittaker. Now a solid jab as Gastelum was coming forward.
Push kick for Whittaker. Solid inside leg kick from Whittaker. Gastelum with grazing punches. Whittaker closes the distance and lands a nice takedown, but this time Gastelum gets back up quickly.
Gastelum just short with a left hand. One-two and that head kick again, but it’s blocked. Right hand for Whittaker.
Jab for Whittaker and two grazing punches in response from Gastelum. Solid connection on a punch from Whittaker.
jab for Whittaker and then two left hands for Gastelum. He lands another punch cleanly. Punch and then the head kick behind it. Gastelum’s face sporting some blood now.
Gastelum still pressing forward and letting his hands go. Good jab hook combo from Whittaker. Kick high to the body for him.
Jabs for Whittaker. Another solid jab for him as Gastelum came forward. Gastelum clinches up. Whittaker reverses and then lands a body kick. Leg kick for Gastelum is checked and then Whittaker throws one of his own.
Jab for Whittaker, but Gastelum is throwing hard, though without the same accuracy.
Now Gastelum does come in and land a good left hand amid a flurry, but a strike strays to the groin and forces a brief stoppage.
That punch-kick combo again from Whittaker is blocked. Gastelum tries a head kick. Gastelum lands a left hand and Whittaker hits reverse gear to get out of danger.
jab for Whittaker and grazing right hook for Gastelum. Push kick for Whittaker. Now a powerful straight and hook for the former champ.
Solid inside leg kick for Whittaker. Gastelum forcefully pressing forward with punches, but Whittaker backs up.
Jab for Whittaker. He doubles up with the jab as Gastelum gets into range. Body kick for Whittaker.
Gastelum with punches but eats a hook on the counter. Body punch for Gastelum. One-two for Whittaker. Front kick to the body from Whittaker.
Knee in the clinch from Whittaker. Missed strikes from Gastelum. Clean right hand counter for Whittaker. Punch-kick combo.
One-two and then a kick to the leg this time for Whittaker and Gastelum took a second after that to get going again.
Whittaker with a big head kick that’s blocked. Three-piece combo for Whittaker as he picks Gastelum apart late in the round.
Gastelum thinks about a single leg, but was more faking it to come up with strikes instead.
Whittaker covers up to block a couple of punches. Inside calf kick for Whittaker. Now a right hand as Gastelum steps into range. Whittaker with a knee to the body.
Gastelum with a glancing left hand. Back to the inside leg kick. Now a kick upstairs that’s blocked. Good elbow at close range.
Another leg kick for Whittaker. Jab and then an uppercut connects. left hand for Gastelum. Jab from Whittaker and then a head kick attempt that’s blocked.
Body kick and a left hook for Whittaker. Two-piece combo for the ex-champ. Another punch and head kick attempt.
Gastelum lands a right hand. He’s never stopped trying to make something happen and still looks fresh despite the strikes he’s ate.
Again Whittaker threatening with the head kick attempt. Punches land to the head though. Very nice right hand for Whittaker to thwart Gastelum’s latest advance.
Gastelum working for a takedown and does land it, but Whittaker springs back up immediately.
Jab lands for Whittaker. Whittaker keeps out of reach of Gastelum’s punches. The head kick from Whittaker is blocked, but he does land to the leg. Crisp uppercut connects before the end of the round.
Body kick for Whittaker and then one to the leg. Jab lands. Double jab for Whittaker. Gastelum with a short flurry, but not able to land cleanly.
Whittaker tries for a takedown, but Gastelum shrugs that aside.
Gastelum with a left hand. jab for him. Two punches get through for Whittaker, but not the head kick behind it.
leg kick for Whittaker. LEft hand for Gastelum. Body punch lands for him. left hook for Whittaker. Nice uppercut and a right hand.
One-two for Gastelum. Side kick to the knee from Whittaker. Front kick upstairs for him. Final two minutes of the fight and Whittaker goes for a single leg and catches Gastelum by surprise to land it.
Whittaker settling into half guard in the center of the Octagon now. Whittaker perhaps setting up an arm triangle, but then tries for full mount.
There’s a scramble and Gastelum is able to stand, with Whittaker latched on to his back. Whittaker rolls down to the mat and has his hooks in. He transitions on top and that’s where the action ends.
Excellent performance from Whittaker here against an opponent in Gastelum who never stopped trying, but just couldn’t make headway against the former champ, who emerges as the clear unanimous decision victor (50-45 x3).