Entertainment, Sports

Whittaker v Gastelum headline 2019 UFC bouts


WINDHOEK, FEB 7 – It’s a UFC open weekend for ALL DStv customers this weekend! Enjoy your front-row view to all-things UFC with an Open Weekend (from 8 – 10- February) for all DStv customers on SS11 (DStv channel xx). Round off your UFC viewing extravaganza with UFC’s most anticipated bouts Robert Whittaker vs Kelvin Gastelum and Anderson Silva vs Africa’s Adesanya, live on SS11 or SS6/Max 1, your official home of UFC, available only on DStv!

Robert Whittaker

UFC 234: Whittaker v Gastelum will be the first main series Ultimate Fighting Championship event of 2019. All DStv subscribers will be able to watch on SS11 and DStv Now. The event will take place at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday, 10 February.

05:00 CAT – LIVE on All Packages THIS WEEKEND ONLY on SS11. You can also watch the main series on SuperSport 6/Max 1, the home of UFC and on the go on DStv Now.

Anderson Silva

The main event sees the UFC Middleweight Championship belt on the line, as New Zealand-born Australian fighter Robert Whittaker (20-4-0) defends his title against American Kelvin Gastelum (15-3-0, 1 NC).

Whittaker, 28, is on a nine-match winning streak in the UFC, and his last two fights have been against Cuban Yoel Romero. He defeated the veteran on a unanimous decision at UFC 213 in July 2017 to win the interim Middleweight Championship (later upgraded to undisputed status) and then beat Romero again (this time by split decision) at UFC 225 in June last year.

Israel Adesanya

That latter bout was not for the Middleweight title, as Romero missed the weight limit, making him ineligible for the Championship. Yet it was a UFC classic and later voted the Fight of the Year for 2018.

Gastelum, 27, was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 17 and has been signed with the UFC since 2013. He has had mixed results through his career (including having a victory over Vitor Belfort in 2017 overturned to a No Contest after testing positive for a marijuana metabolite), but has won his last two fights: a KO win over Michael Bisping in November 2017 and a slit decision victory over Ronaldo Souza at UFC 224 in May last year.

This will be both Gastelum’s first title fight and Whittaker’s first Middleweight Championship defence.

The co-main event is another Middleweight battle, with the undefeated Israel Adesanya (15-0-0) testing himself against the experienced Anderson Silva (34-8-0, 1 NC). Adesanya, who hails from Nigeria, is regarded as an up-and-coming star, but he’ll need to go to a new level entirely to get the better of Brazilian Silva, who famously had the longest title reign in UFC history.

Rani Yahya

The other bouts on the main card see Rani Yahya (26-9-0, 1 NC) take on Ricky Simon (12-1-0) in the Bantamweight division; a Women Flyweight battle pits Montana De La Rosa (9-4-0) against Nadia Kassem (5-0-0); and a Light Heavyweight fight sees Jim Crute (9-0-0) face up to Sam Alvey (33-11-0, 1 NC), who replaced the injured Ryan Spann.

UFC 234 – Main Card
Main event: Middleweight Championship: Robert Whittaker (20-4-0) v Kelvin Gastelum (15-3-0, 1 NC)
Co-main event: Middleweight: Israel Adesanya (15-0-0) v Anderson Silva (34-8-0, 1 NC)
Bantamweight: Rani Yahya (26-9-0, 1 NC) v Ricky Simon (12-1-0)
Women Flyweight: Montana De La Rosa (9-4-0) v Nadia Kassem (5-0-0)
Light heavyweight: Jim Crute (9-0-0) v Sam Alvey (33-11-0, 1 NC)

Kelvin Gastelum

Preliminary Card
Lightweight: Devonte Smith (9-1-0) v Dong Hyun Ma (16-8-3)
Featherweight: Shane Young (12-4-0) v Austin Arnett (16-4-0)
Flyweight: Kai Kara-France (18-7-0, 1 NC) v Raulian Paiva (18-1-0)
Bantamweight: Teruto Ishihara (10-6-2) v Kang Kyung-ho (14-8-0, 1 NC)

Early Preliminary Card
Lightweight: Lando Vannata (9-3-2) v Marcos Rosa Mariano (6-4-0)
Lightweight: Callan Potter (16-7-0) v Jalin Turner (7-4-0)
Bantamweight: Wuliji Buren (8-5-0) v Jonathan Martinez (9-2-0) – Multichoice Namibia