An interim middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum is in the works for UFC 236 on April 13th at a destination still to be confirmed.
That’s the word according to ESPN, with the interim title belt being brought in to keep the top end of the division moving while Robert Whittaker continues his recovery from a collapsed bowel and internal hernia, which forced him out of his latest title defense against Gastelum at UFC 234.
In Whittaker and Gastelum’s absence, Israel Adesanya took main event status at UFC 234 against Anderson Silva on short notice and outstruck the legendary fighter to claim a unanimous decision victory.
That was Adesanya’s fifth win in the UFC, all of which have taken place within the space of a year, and included wins over the likes of Brad Tavares and Derek Brunson. In total Adesanya’s MMA record stands at a perfect 16-0.
Now he’ll go up against Gastelum, who is riding a two-fight winning streak that’s seen him KO Michael Bisping and then early a split decision victory over Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.
Prior to that he lost by submission to Chris Weidman and saw a win over Vitor Belfort overturned to a no-contest after testing positive for marijuana metabolites.
Adesanya Vs Gastelum is the first major fight to be linked to UFC 236 and may well serve as the main event of the evening.