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UFC 236: Israel Adesanya to face Kelvin Gastelum for interim belt

The UFC middleweight division will have an interim champion crowned at UFC 236 in April with undefeated No. 5 Israel Adesanya (16-0-0) battling No. 4 Kelvin Gastelum (15-3-0, 1NC), according to UFC president Dana White, who told ESPN Tuesday.

Gastelum was scheduled to challenge undisputed champion Robert Whittaker (20-4-0) earlier this month at UFC 234┬ábut hours before the bout, Whittaker was removed with an abdominal hernia. “The Reaper” is anticipating a return in the summer, according to ESPN.

Adesanya and Anderson Silva became the main event at UFC 234, with Adesanya winning by unanimous decision. “The Last Stylebender” almost immediately took to social media afterwards, demanding Whittaker be stripped of the belt with himself and Gastelum booked in a title bout. It appears a portion of his wishes have been granted.

UFC 236 is scheduled for April 13. A venue has not been released as of yet.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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