A previously rumored middleweight title clash between Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum is now official for UFC 234.
The Las Vegas-based promotion recently confirmed the booking, which will headline its pay-per-view card at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia on Feb. 9. Whittaker and Gastelum were opposing coaches on Season 28 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which is currently airing on Fox Sports 1.
Whittaker will return to action for the first time since taking a grueling split verdict over Yoel Romero in the UFC 225 main event on June 9. “The Reaper” has been recovering from a broken hand suffered in that bout. The 27-year-old champion has won his last nine fights, including wins against Romero (twice), Ronaldo Souza, Derek Brunson, Uriah Hall and Brad Tavares.
Gastelum, meanwhile, has lost just once in five outings since moving from welterweight to 185 pounds. “The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner last appeared at UFC 224, where he captured a split verdict over Souza. Gastelum also owns middleweight wins over Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy, while a stoppage of Vitor Belfort was changed to a no contest due to a positive marijuana test.