234 UFC is down under tonight/this morning with UFC 234, an event which features two big fights.
UFC 234, which happens at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, is headlined by a middleweight title bout pitting reigning champion ‘Bobby Knuckles’ Robert Whittaker versus ‘No nickname’ Kelvin Gastelum. This is Whittaker’s first title defense since he claimed the interim belt with a win over Yoel Romero in 2017. Whittaker’s interim status was upgraded to undisputed shortly after.
He beat Romero last year, too, but that was a non title belt thanks to some rogue ounces on Romero. For Gastelum this is his first title fight and it comes off of a two fight winning streak where he dispatched of Michael Bisping and Jacare Souza. Will he taste gold after the first chance he gets or will Whittaker keep the belt in Australia.
The co-main event presents another middleweight clash. Here the rising star Israel Adesanya will take on living legend Anderson Silva. Adesanya, one of last year’s most hyped prospects, will likely be in title contention if he is able to knock off the biggest name that has ever stood opposite him. For Silva, he’s just fighting for bragging rights at this stage of his career. Will the Spider show he still has some venom or are we about to enter the Stylebender Era?
The rest of the PPV card leaves a lot to be desired. It’s rounded out by Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simon (bantamweight), Montana De La Rosa vs. Nadia Kassem (flyweight), and Jim Crute vs. Sam Alvey (light heavyweight).
The prelim card is on ESPN. That’s headlined by Devonte Smith vs. Dong Hyun Ma (lightweight). It also features matches between Shane Young and Austin Arnett (featherweight), Kai Kara-France vs. Raulian Paiva (flyweight), and Teruto Ishihara vs. Kyung Ho Kang (bantamweight).
The early prelims go down at 6:15PM ET on UFC Fight Pass. Those include Lando Vannata vs. Marcos Rosa (lightweight), Callan Potter vs. Jalin Turner (lightweight), and Wuliji Buren vs. Jonathan Martinez (bantamweight).