Another weekend of punching came and went with UFC Vegas 24 blowing up the roof of UFC APEX last Saturday night (April 17, 2021) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Many fighters were left licking their wounds, including Abdul Razak Alhassan, who suffered the third consecutive loss in his UFC career after being outscored by Jacob Malkoun.
And Anthony Birchak, who was knocked out by Tony Gravely. But which fighter is suffering the worst post-fight hangover, now just days away from the show?
Going into his main fight against Robert Whittaker, Gastelum had a month to get fit for the match and prepare for the former middleweight champion after agreeing to step in to face “The Reaper” after Paulo Costa retired from the league. Fight. Getting his weight right in such a short time was probably his biggest challenge because Gastelum had already prepared to fight Whittaker a few years ago before the fight was called off at the last minute.
Still, Gastelum gave everything he had come to fight night by going the distance with the former champion. But it just wasn’t enough for a win because Whittaker was on point in every facet of the fighting game. He surpassed Gastelum and managed him in the wrestling department. While Gastelum had some brilliant moments, he was pretty much all Whittaker for five rounds.
The loss leaves Gastelum 1-4 in his last five UFC fights, a pretty tough streak for a man many felt could be a middleweight or welterweight champion. And with good reason, Gastelum started his UFC career 10-3-1, scoring big wins over Tim Kennedy, Nate Marquardt, Johnny Hendricks and his brutal knockout win over former 185-pound champion Michael Bisping.
Despite the setback, Gastelum was in a good mood and promises to come back stronger than ever.
“I fell short tonight. I appreciate everyone’s support. I’ll go back and make sure that doesn’t happen next time, ”Gastelum wrote in Twitter shortly after the loss.
Gastelum may drop a few spots in the standings due to his recent troubles, but a big win or two could put him back in the mix. And as he has shown in the past, he always has a chance to hit.
As for what might be next for the Kings MMA-trained fighter, perhaps a showdown against Kevin Holland would be ideal, as both are fighting and both prefer to stand up and hit.
The Netherlands are on a two-game losing streak and were last seen being dominated by Marvin Vettori. He promised to go over his fight in the future, but he probably wouldn’t need it if he faces Gastelum next.
There are other options, but most are reserved at this time. Both Gastelum and Holland are likely to take time off to regroup after competing this month and the response time would be roughly the same time.