Israel Adesanya to fight Kelvin Gastelum for interim UFC middleweight title

Israel Adesanya will get the title shot he was promised by UFC president Dana White, albeit a little sooner than many thought.

Adesanya will face off with Kelvin Gastelum in an interim title fight for the middleweight belt due to Australian champion Robert Whittaker's most recent injury.

Whittaker picked up and abdominal hernia in the build up to UFC 234 earlier this month, cancelling his title defence against Gastelum in the process.

With Whittaker recovering from surgery, City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman has told 1 NEWS White has opted to give Adesanya a crack after he beat UFC legend Anderson Silva by unanimous decision at UFC 234.

White had promised the winner of the Adesanya v Silva fight a title shot and with Gastelum denied his chance to beat Whittaker for the title, an interim title fight appears an obvious choice.

An interim title in the UFC means the fighter will be recognised as the champion while the original champ, who in this case is Whittaker, is out of action.

However, upon Whittaker's return he will fight the interim title-holder to unify the titles and give the division one real champion.

Bearman told 1 NEWS the interim title fight has been added to UFC 236 - a pay-per-view event scheduled for April 13 with a venue yet to be confirmed.

Adesanya has had a rapid rise in the UFC's ranks over the last twelve months, winning all five of his fights in the octagon to extend his professional MMA record to 16-0.

Source: Photosport

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