UFC

Robert Whittaker vs Kelvin Gastelum: UFC 234 live stream, blog, how to watch

The UFC’s return to Melbourne has been thrown into chaos after Rob Whittaker sensationally withdrew from his title bout. Here’s what you need to know about the rescheduled line-up.


Robert Whittaker's clash with Kelvin Gastelum is off. Picture: Getty Images

The UFC’s return to Melbourne has been thrown into chaos after Rob Whittaker sensationally withdrew from his title bout against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234.

Mere hours go Whittaker succumbed to a hernia and he will not defend his title at Rod Laver Arena.

Anderson Silva’s title eliminator against Israel Adesanya is the new main event, while Lando Vannata’s tangle with Marcos Rosa has been elevated to co-main event status.

WHAT TIME DOES IT START?

The first fights of the day, the UFC Fight Pass prelims, kick off at 11am (AEDT).

Then the undercard at 11.30am (AEDT) and the main card at 1.30pm (AEDT). You can expect the main event to kick off at about 3pm (AEDT).

For those of you who can’t make it to Rod Laver Arena you can watch the prelims on ESPN (channel 508 on your Foxtel box) or on Kayo. It’ll cost you $49.95 to get the main card on Main Event or you can head down to your local – have a beer for me while you’re there.

Robert Whittaker's clash with Kelvin Gastelum is off. Picture: Getty Images

Robert Whittaker's clash with Kelvin Gastelum is off. Picture: Getty Images

WHAT’S THE NEW MAIN EVENT?

The new main event will determine Whittaker/Gastelum’s next opponent as veteran Anderson Silva takes on rising star Israel Adesanya.

Silva is, by any measure, one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. He is a legendary figure in this sport, a striker phenomenon who looked light years ahead of the competition, with a skill and panache straight out of Bruce Lee movie.

From 2006 to 2012 he was unbeaten in 17 straight fights, setting a then record for most consecutive title defenses with 10 and generally building the resume of a titan.

Now he’s 43, hasn’t had a convincing win at middleweight in six years and has been banned for performance enhancing drugs twice. If he wins today he’ll have a chance to fight for the title one last time. If he loses, it could be the end.

Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva face off. Picture: Getty Images

Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva face off. Picture: Getty Images

As much as Silva dominated his opponents as a striker years ago so does Adesanya today. Born in Nigeria and based in New Zealand, “The Last Stylebender” is a decorated kickboxer who is unbeaten in his MMA career.

After making his UFC debut last February in Perth he’s ripped off four straight wins, all dominant ones, with two knockouts.

He’s charismatic and confident, he’s fluid and dangerous and if he and Whittaker win it’ll set up the biggest MMA fight in Australian history. Adesanya is the hot favourite to win and Silva will be relying on summoning the old magic one more time.

WHO ELSE IS HERE?

Promising Victorian light-heavyweight Jim “The Brute” Crute takes on Sam Alvey in the main card opener while hard-hitting flyweight Kai Kara-France will have his sophomore UFC appearance against Raulian Paiva on the prelim card.

The new co-main event will be worth it for “Groovy” Lando Vannata if nothing else.

Vannata has a 1-3-1 record in the UFC but each fight has been a classic – he either hits or gets hit on every exchange with no inbetween. Vannata takes on Marcos Rosa.

WILL WHITTAKER BE STRIPPED OF THE TITLE?

Unlikely. The hernia was not related to the weight cut and it seems like plain old rotten luck. Expect Whittaker to face Gastelum at a later date – although it’s unlikely it’ll be in Australia.

FOLLOW ALL THE ACTION IN OUR LIVE BLOG BELOW FROM 11AM AEDT

Live Updates

Source: Read Full Article