Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum will be coaching rivals on Season 28 of “The Ultimate Fighter” before squaring off in a middleweight championship bout later this year.
The UFC recently announced that Whittaker and Gastelum will coach “TUF 28: Heavy Hitters,” which features male heavyweights and female featherweights and premieres Aug. 29 on Fox Sports 1. A date was not announced for Whittaker’s title defense against Gastelum.
While nothing has been formally announced, “TUF 28” could possibly be the final iteration of the reality show that began in 2005. No mention of the series was made when the UFC announced its new broadcast deal with ESPN earlier this year.
Whittaker won “TUF: The Smashes” and began his promotional tenure as a welterweight before truly blossoming at 185 pounds. He captured the interim middleweight crown with a five-round verdict over Yoel Romero at UFC 213 and was promoted to undisputed champion when Georges St. Pierre vacated the crown late last year. “The Reaper” returned to action at UFC 225, taking a hard-earned split decision in a rematch with Romero in a matchup that became a non-title bout when his opponent missed weight.
Gastelum, who won “TUF 17,” has also been successful since moving from welterweight to middleweight. The Arizona native has lost just once in five 185-pound appearances and is coming off back-to-back triumphs over Ronaldo Souza and Michael Bisping.