Gastelum hopes to rebook title fight for summer

MMA

The UFC has “taken care of” middleweight title challenger Kelvin Gastelum following the cancellation of his championship fight against Robert Whittaker last weekend, according to his agent, Ali Abdelaziz.

Abdelaziz declined to comment on the UFC’s exact compensation for Gastelum, but confirmed it to be in the “six figures.” Additionally, Gastelum’s team is hopeful the 185-pound title fight will be rebooked this summer.

“I just talked to Dana White and they are taking care of Kelvin, financially,” Abdelaziz told ESPN. “He’s very happy.

“I heard Whittaker can start training in five weeks and we are looking to get this fight rebooked between June or July.”

Gastelum (15-3) was supposed to challenge Whittaker (20-4) for the middleweight title at UFC 234 last weekend in Melbourne, Australia. However, Whittaker was pulled from the bout at the last minute due to an abdominal hernia. He underwent emergency surgery the day of the scheduled fight.

Whittaker, 28, promised to return “better than ever” in a post-operation video he posted to social media, but has not offered any time frame for his recovery. His representatives were not immediately available for comment.

The Sydney-based champion is 8-0 since moving up from the welterweight division in 2014.

Fighting out of California, Gastelum has declared himself the rightful champion after Whittaker’s “forfeit” at UFC 234. The UFC still recognizes Whittaker, however, as its official champion.

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