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 but 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.
I know right… https://t.co/e7QUK855kQ
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) February 19, 2019
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
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) February 19, 2019
UFC 236 is scheduled for April 13. A venue has not been released as of yet.