Robert Whittaker will be looking to earn a shot at reclaiming his UFC middleweight crown when he takes on Kelvin Gastelum on Saturday at UFC Vegas 24 as a heavy -265 favourite on the UFC odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Whittaker saw his brief reign atop the UFC middleweight division come to an end at UFC 243 with a second-round knockout loss to current champion Israel Adesanya. However, Whittaker has quickly rebounded, and now rides a two-fight win streak into Saturday night's bout at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Currently set as the top-ranked challenger among UFC middleweights, Whittaker is coming off a three-round unanimous decision win over Jared Cannonier at UFC 254, which paid out on -265 odds at online betting sites.
The 30-year-old native of New Zealand also outlasted Darren Till, earning a five-round unanimous decision win in their clash at UFC Fight Island 3, and has now received the nod from the judges in six of his past eight victories.
While Whittaker aims to solidify his strong position on the UFC rankings, Gastelum looks to improve on his recent checkered record as he prepares to enter the octagon as a lengthy +210 underdog on Saturday.
The 29-year-old southpaw has struggled to produce consistent results over the past two years. A unanimous decision loss to Adesanya in his bid for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 236 marked the start of a three-fight losing streak.
Gastelum followed up with a narrow split decision loss to Till at UFC 244, and lasted just 78 seconds before being submitted by Jack Hermansson at UFC Fight Island 2. However, he rebounded well in his last outing two months ago at UFC 258, earning a unanimous decision over Ian Heinisch as a -210 wager.
Elsewhere on the UFC betting lines for Saturday, lightweights clash as Jeremy Stephens battles Drakkar Klose as narrow -125 chalk.
As well, Andrei Arlovski takes on fellow heavyweight Chase Sherman as a -125 favourite, while Abdul Razak Alhassan tries to snap a two-fight losing streak as he faces middleweight Jacob Malkoun as a -300 bet.
Stephens returns to the octagon as a betting favourite despite going winless in his past five appearances. Stephens has been idle since suffering a second-round KO loss to Calvin Kattar 11 months ago at UFC 249, but earned a Fight of the Night bonus while coming out on the wrong end of a unanimous decision in a rematch with Yair Rodriguez.
Sherman rides a four-fight win streak into Saturday's contest as a +105 underdog. Sherman claimed a second-round TKO win over Isaac Villanueva at UFC Fight Night 171 after tallying three straight opening-round finishes during his brief stint on the Island Fights circuit.