UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Gastelum Full Fight Results
April 17, 2021
UFC on ESPN 22: Whittaker vs. Gastelum didn’t have many finishes — eight of 10 fights went to the scorecards — but it was undoubtedly exciting. The fights were well matched — four split decisions! — and featured a ton of action, clashes of styles and technical martial arts.
In the main event, Robert Whittaker looked as good as ever in a unanimous decision win over Kelvin Gastelum. The ageless Andrei Arlovski pointed his way to a decision win over Chase Sherman in the co-main event. The Arlovski-Sherman fight was promoted to the co-main after Drakkar Klose withdrew from his fight with Jeremy Stephens due to injuries sustained after Stephens shoved Klose at the ceremonial weigh-ins on Friday.
As far as predictions went, Matt Allen finished 7-3 and Craig finished 6-4. In 2021, Matt (90-56) holds a large advantage over Craig (81-65) three and a half months into the season. Follow next week for UFC 261 coverage, including picks and predictions, interview from Fight Night Picks’ John Hyon Ko and the fight companion for a trio of championship fights, including Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal, Weili Zhang vs. Rose Namajunas and Valentina Schevchenko vs. Jessica Andrade.
Tony Gravely (-392) def. Anthony Birchak by TKO (R2, 1:31)
Props: by knockout (+170); under 1.5 (+123)
Matt’s pick: Gravely; Craig’s pick: Gravely
After a chaotic opening couple of minutes, Tony Gravely took over. He used his wrestling to control the final minutes of the first round, before sitting Birchak down with a right hook. He followed up with ground and pound to get his first stoppage in the Octagon. He improved to 2-1 in the UFC. Birchak falls to 2-4 in the promotion and 0-2 since his return to the Octagon.
Austin Hubbard (-228) vs. Dakota Bush by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Props: by decision (+112); over 2.5 (-169)
Matt’s pick: Hubbard; Craig’s pick: Hubbard
If you listened to Matt and Craig’s predictions, this fight went almost exactly as expected. Dakota Bush had moments in a back-and-forth first round, but Austin Hubbard’s cardio was too much in rounds 2 and 3 as he won every scramble and grappling exchange in a dominating final 10 minutes. Hubbard improves to 3-3 in the UFC. Bush was making his UFC debut.
Gerald Meerschaert (+102) def. Bartosz Fabinski by submission (R1, 2:00)
Props: by submission (+194); under 1.5 (+177)
Matt’s pick: Fabinski; Craig’s pick: Fabinski
For the 24th time in his professional career, Gerald Meerschaert submitted his opponent. This time it came in the first round against Bartosz Fabinski. Fabinski went for the takedown after some clinchwork up against the side of the cage, and Meerschaert locked in a slick guillotine to halt a two-fight skid. Fabinski is now the fighter on a two-fight losing streak, falling to 4-3 in the UFC.
For the first time in seven years, Jessica Penne is a winner. Making her return to the Octagon after a four-year absence, which included a USADA suspension, Penne hunted for submissions throughout the fight and hung on UFC debutant Lupita Godinez’s back for minutes at a time. Godinez had some success on the feet and had several throwdowns, but couldn’t keep Penne off her back. Penne was never particularly close to a submission, but the judges sided just barely with the veteran, who improves to 2-3 in the promotion.
Alexander Romanov (-160) def. Juan Espino by technical split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Props: by decision (+453); over 1.5 (-143)
Matt’s pick: Romanov; Craig’s pick: Romanov
Can you say anticlimactic? After a wild, back-and-forth scrambling affair through the first 10 minutes, Juan Espino found Romanov’s groin with a knee in the clinch. Romanov immediately clutched over in pain and could not continue after speaking with the doctor through a translator. With the fight in the third round, the bout went to the judges’ scorecards. There, Alexander Romanov narrowly edged out Juan Espino in perhaps a very controversial decision. It kept Romanov’s perfect 14-0 record intact. Espino dropped his first fight in the Octagon.
Luis Pena (-153) vs. Alex Munoz by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Props: by decision (+156); over 2.5 (-220)
Matt’s pick: Pena; Craig’s pick: Pena
As razor close a fight as you’ll ever see. Luis Pena had some success on the feet before really finding a groove in the third round. Alex Munoz was consistently fighting off his back foot, but had a smart gameplan mixing in counter shots with takedowns. In the end, the judges had to pick a winner and narrowly went with Pena, who improved to 5-3 in the UFC. Munoz is now 0-2 in the Octagon.
Let the split decisions continue! For the fourth consecutive fight, we went to the judges’ scorecards, this time Tracy Cortez narrowly edging out Justine Kish. Cortez won her ninth straight fight with takedowns in the first and third rounds. Kish had some success on the feet, including a knockdown of Cortez in the third round, but Cortez’s wrestling was just too much in the end. It’s Cortez’s third win in the Octagon. Kish fell to 3-4 in the promotion.
Jacob Malkoun (+247) def. Abdul Razak Alhassan by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Props: by decision (+542); over 2.5 (+187)
Matt’s pick: Alhassan; Craig’s pick: Alhassan
When’s the last time we’ve seen such a heavy underdog dominate a fight so thoroughly? Jacob Malkoun scored a couple takedowns in the first round, which absolutely gassed Abdul Razak Alhassan. From there, it was all Malkoun riding out Alhassan until the 15 minutes were up. It’s Malkoun’s first win in the UFC; while Alhassan is now a loser of three straight.
Andrei Arlovski (+104) def. Chase Sherman by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Props: by decision (+185); over 2.5 (-147)
Matt’s pick: Arlovski; Craig’s pick: Sherman
The crafty ol’ veteran found a way to win yet again. At 41 years old, Andrei Arlovski found his rhythm after getting stunned in the first round by Chase Sherman. Arlovski pieced up Sherman in the second and thirds with good boxing, a strong calf kick and movement on his way to the decision win. Arlovski is now 21-14 in the UFC while Sherman drops to 3-6 in the promotion.
Robert Whittaker (-272) def. Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
Props: by decision (+121); over 4.5 (-138)
Matt’s pick: Whittaker; Craig’s pick: Whittaker
Robert Whittaker put on a masterclass performance in the main event while everyone was watching Jake Paul knockout Ben Askren. This wasn’t Max Holloway over Calvin Kattar-level performance but it was darn close. He had takedowns, he pieced up Kelvin Gastelum on the feet and absolutely dominated in every facet of the match. It puts Whittaker back in the running as Israel Adesanya’s next opponent for the middleweight crown. Meanwhile, Gastelum drops his third fight in the last four and falls to 11-7 in the UFC.