An interim middleweight champion will be crowned at UFC 236 when Kelvin Gastelum meets Israel Adesanya on April 13 with a location for the event still to be determined.
UFC president Dana White confirmed the matchup via ESPN on Tuesday.
The decision to crown an interim champion comes on the heels of Robert Whittaker suffering a hernia just hours before he was scheduled to defend his middleweight title at UFC 234 earlier in February.
Whittaker was pulled from the card and put into emergency surgery with hopes that he’ll be able to return to action at some point during the summer in 2019.
Gastelum was originally scheduled to meet Whittaker at UFC 234 but now he’ll compete for the interim title instead when he returns in April.
Gastelum is coming off back-to-back wins over former champion Michael Bisping and top five ranked middleweight Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.
As for Adesanya, the highly touted striker from New Zealand remains undefeated in his career including his most recent win over former middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 234.
Gastelum vs. Adesanya is the first confirmed title fight for the UFC 236 card in April with the UFC still hunting for a location and venue for that card.