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Kelvin Gastelum has stepped up.
Two people with knowledge of the new matchup confirmed the booking to MMA Junkie on Tuesday after an initial report by Milenio. The people asked to remain anonymous since the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
The April 17 card doesn’t have an official location, though the UFC received licensure from the Nevada Athletic Commission on Tuesday to hold it at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Gastelum and Whittaker (22-5 MMA, 13-3 UFC) were scheduled to fight at UFC 234 in February 2019. However, Whittaker withdrew on the day of the fight due to a hernia. A little more than two years later, they’ll finally step into the cage against one another.
Gastelum, 29, snapped a three-fight losing skid in February when he defeated Ian Henisch with a unanimous decision. “The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner has gone 4-4 with one no contest since moving to middleweight in late 2016.
Whittaker is on a two-fight winning streak since losing the UFC middleweight championship to Israel Adesanya in October 2019. Back-to-back unanimous decision victories against Darren Till and Jared Cannonier landed Whittaker in his April 17 main event slot.
With the change, the UFC’s April 17 lineup now includes:
Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Bartosz Fabinski vs. Gerald Meerschaert
Parker Porter vs. Chase Sherman
Tracy Cortez vs. Justine Kish
Tony Gravely vs. Nate Maness
Austin Hubbard vs. Natan Levy
Drakkar Klose vs. Jeremy Stephens