Robert Whittaker to Defend UFC Middleweight Title in Fight vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 3, 2018

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 09:  Robert Whittaker of New Zealand celebrates after defeating Yoel Romero of Cuba by split decision in their middleweight fight during the UFC 225 event at the United Center on June 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Robert Whittaker's next defense of the UFC middleweight championship will be against Kelvin Gastelum

UFC President Dana White told ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto the bout will happen in Australia at some point next year. 

Okamoto reported the UFC is looking to hold a pay-per-view show in Melbourne on Feb. 10. 

"We'll announce that when it's time," White said Friday. "It'll be in Australia."

Whittaker, who resides in Sydney, hasn't fought in his home country since 2016. The 27-year-old was scheduled to make his first title defense against Luke Rockhold in February at UFC 221 in Perth, but he withdrew from the bout because of a hamstring injury and abscess infection. 

It's been known since July that Gastelum will be Whittaker's next opponent. The UFC announced the news when both fighters were named as coaches for the current season of The Ultimate Fighter, which concludes Nov. 30 in Las Vegas. 

Gastelum has won each of his last two fights, with his most recent victory coming against Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza at UFC 224 in May.

Currently riding a nine-fight winning streak, Whittaker captured the UFC middleweight title with a unanimous-decision victory over Yoel Romero at UFC 213. He defeated Romero in a rematch at UFC 225 in June. The bout was supposed to be for the championship but was changed to a non-title fight when Romero missed weight. 

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