With Robert Whittaker targeting this summer for his return, the UFC will be crowning an interim middleweight champion while he’s out of action.
Dana White told ESPN that Kelvin Gastelum vs. Israel Adesanya in an interim middleweight title fight has been booked for UFC 236. The pay-per-view is taking place on Saturday, April 13, but the location for the show is to be determined.
Gastelum was supposed to challenge for Whittaker’s middleweight title in the main event of UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia on February 9, but their fight was canceled on the day of the show due to Whittaker needing to undergo emergency surgery for a hernia and collapsed bowel.
With Whittaker and Gastelum off the card, Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva headlined UFC 234. Adesanya won by unanimous decision to improve his record to 16-0. Five of Adesanya’s fights have been in the UFC.
Gastelum is 15-3 with one no contest.
Gastelum tweeted about facing Adesanya for the interim title: “April 13th , of 2013 I was crowned the Winner of The Ultimate Fighter of season 17. It only makes sense that on the 13th of April, the entire journey comes around and it makes a full circle. #OnAmission4Gold”