Kelvin Gastelum vs. Israel Adesanya for UFC Interim title set for UFC 236

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced a monumentally fascinating Middleweight bout for the interim Middleweight title.

On Feb 10, on the night of UFC 234, UFC Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker pulled out of his much-anticipated main event championship bout with Kelvin Gastelum due to hemorrhoids that had occurred the night before. Due to this, the co-main event feature that was also to be contested at Middleweight and featured Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva was moved up to the main event slot.

Adesanya would defeat Silva in a thrilling three-round contest that earned Fight of the Night. After the bout, Adesanya decreed that his next bout be for the Middleweight championship. That same night, Gastelum made a decree of his own; stating that due to the late pull out of Robert Whittaker from their championship bout, Gastelum was now the reigning champion. The fight will happen at UFC 236 in April.

With Robert Whittaker out due to an indefinite amount of time, the UFC has made the move to have these two top ranked Middleweights compete for the interim belt.

Gastelum (15-3, 10-3 in UFC) is currently on a two-fight winning streak over both Ronaldo Souza and former Middleweight champion Michael Bisping and is 3-1, 1 NC since moving up to Middleweight back in 2016.

Adesanya (16-0, 5-0 in UFC) first made his debut coincidentally on the same card that Robert Whitakker first pulled out of due to injury when he was initially scheduled to face Luke Rockhold at 221 last year. Adesanya would compete four times in 2018, winning all four bouts and finding the TKO finish in two of them. Adesanya went 75-5 in kickboxing and is the former Glory Kickboxing Middleweight champion.

UFC 236 will take place on April 13 and has yet to be assigned a location. The event will stream live on pay per view.

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Nick Peralta

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