The pivotal middleweight bout between Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum is set now that the UFC Vegas 24 weigh-in results are official.
Whittaker, Gastelum, and the rest of the fighters on the UFC Vegas 24 card weighed in Friday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, making their bouts official for Saturday’s event. UFC Vegas 24 (aka UFC on ESPN 22) takes place inside the Apex.
The former UFC middleweight champ, Whittaker is looking to continue building momentum. He lost the belt to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 in 2019. Whittaker has since won back-to-back bouts against Darren Till and Jared Cannonier. Adding Gastelum to his hit list would put Whittaker in the perfect position to try and regain the belt.
Gastelum is also trying to keep the wheels turning. He came out of a three-fight skid by defeating Ian Heinisch at UFC 258 earlier this year. A win over Whittaker would not only bolster his confidence, but also his standing in the division in which he once contended for the interim title.
Whittaker and Gastelum had been slated to meet at UFC 234, when Whittaker still held the belt. The bout was canceled with just hours to go after Whittaker was rushed into emergency surgery because of an abdominal hernia of the intestine and a twisted and collapsed bowel.
Both fighters made weight on Friday, Whittaker at 185.5 pounds and Gastelum at 185 pounds.
Zarah Fairn was 8 pounds over, UFC Vegas 24 bout canceled
Zarah Fairn, who missed by a wide margin, had her bout canceled. She stepped on the scale at 147 pounds, a full 8 pounds over weight for her 139-pound catchweight fight. Her opponent, Josiane Nunes, weighed 136 pounds.
With there being an 11-pound difference in weight and the severe miss, the bout was not allowed to take place.
The final fighter to the scale, Tracy Cortez, also missed weight, but just barely. She initially stepped on the scale at 127 pounds. Officials brought out a curtain booth. Cortez undressed and weighed 126.5 pounds, still 0.5 pound above the limit.
Pending medical clearance, Cortez’s bout with Justine Kish, who weighed 125.5 pounds, will likely be allowed to continue. Cortez would forfeit a portion of her purse to Kish to keep the bout intact. With such a close miss, the penalty would likely be 20 percent.
UFC Vegas 24 weigh-in results
UFC Vegas 24 Main Card (10 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+)
- Main Event – Middleweight Bout: Robert Whittaker (185.5) vs Kelvin Gastelum (185)
- Co-Main Event – Lightweight Bout: Jeremy Stephens (156) vs Drakkar Klose (156)
- Heavyweight Bout: Andrei Arlovski (250.5) vs Chase Sherman (251)
- Middleweight Bout: Abdul Razak Alhassan (185.5) vs Jacob Malkoun (185.5)
- Lightweight Bout: Luis Pena (155) vs Alexander Munoz (155.5)
UFC Vegas 24 Prelims (7 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+)
- Women’s Flyweight Bout: Tracy Cortez (126.5)* vs Justine Kish (125.5)
- Heavyweight Bout: Alexandr Romanov (264) vs Juan Espino (257)
- Women’s Strawweight Bout: Jessica Penne (116) vs Loopy Godinez (116)
- Middleweight Bout: Bartosz Fabinski (184.5) vs Gerald Meerschaert (185.5)
- Lightweight Bout: Austin Hubbard (156) vs Dakota Bush (155.5)
- Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Zarah Fairn (147)* vs Josiane Nunes (136) — bout canceled
- Bantamweight Bout: Tony Gravely (135.5) vs Anthony Birchak (135.5)
UFC Vegas 24 weigh-in video: Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum
(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)