The Reaper returns!
@RobWhittakerMMA checks in for #UFCVegas24. pic.twitter.com/iVWvCvRk0W — UFC (@ufc) April 16, 2021
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A middleweight clash with potential title implications is set after the UFC on ESPN 22 weigh-ins took place, but the story coming out of it was Zarah Fairn dos Santos' enormous weight miss.
Saturday’s card is headlined by former Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight king Robert Whittaker taking on former top contender Kelvin Gastelum. Both main event fighters had zero issues making weight, although the same couldn’t be said for the rest of the card. Fairn dos Santos didn't even make featherweight for her 139-pound catchweight bout against Josiane Nunes as she came in at 147 pounds, and the bout has been canceled as a result. Tracy Cortez also had weight management issues, although not as severe, as she came in half a pound over the flyweight limit and she has been given one extra hour to make weight.
Australia’s Whittaker (22-5) has bounced back nicely since getting dethroned by Israel Adesanya. “Bobby Knuckles” has picked up two decision wins over contenders Darren Till and Jared Cannonier to put him back in the title picture. A win here would make it three in a row and potentially put him into a rematch for the title he previously held. Whittaker stepped on the scales at 185.5 pounds.
Replacing Paulo Costa is Gastelum (16-6, 1 NC). The former title challenger was meant to face Whittaker at UFC 234, but Whittaker suffered a collapsed bowel that led to emergency surgery the day of the fight. Gastelum would lose to Adesanya in a five-round battle for the interim belt, then struggled against Till and was tapped by Jack Hermansson in his next two outings. Most recently, Gastelum snapped out his three-fight skid by defeating Ian Heinisch. Gastelum officially weighed 185 pounds on the dot.
The UFC on ESPN 22 main card will air at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on ESPN, while the prelims starting at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT will air both on ESPN and ESPN+.
UFC on ESPN 22 Weigh-in Results:Robert Whittaker (185.5) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (185)
Jeremy Stephens (156) vs. Drakkar Klose (156)
Andrei Arlovski (250.5) vs. Chase Sherman (251)
Abdul Razak Alhassan (185.5) vs. Jacob Malkoun (185.5)
Luis Pena (155) vs. Alex Munoz (155.5)
Tracy Cortez (126.5)* vs. Justine Kish (125.5)
Alexander Romanov (264) vs. Juan Espino (257)
Jessica Penne (116) vs. Lupita Godinez (116)
Gerald Meerschaert (185.5) vs. Bartosz Fabinski (184.5)
Dakota Bush (155.5) vs. Austin Hubbard (156)
Zarah Fairn dos Santos (147)** vs. Josiane Nunes (136)
Tony Gravely (135.5) vs. Anthony Birchak (135.5)
* Cortez missed weight by .5 pounds and has been granted an additional hour to make weight.
** Fairn dos Santos missed weight by 7 pounds and the fight has been canceled.