How to watch UFC 234: Whittaker vs. Gastelum, plus full coverage and analysis

Robert Whittaker has owned the middleweight belt since December 2017. Andrew Hancock for ESPN

Robert Whittaker has been UFC middleweight champion since 2017, but will make first title defense in Melbourne, Australia on Feb. 9 at UFC 234 against Kelvin Gastelum. The main card is on pay-per-view, starting at 10 p.m. ET, with four prelims on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 8 p.m. Early prelims begin at 6:15 on UFC Fight Pass. Fans will be able to purchase the PPV on ESPN.com.

Whittaker (20-4), who became interim champion in July 2017 and was awarded the real belt five months later after Georges St-Pierre vacated the title, has won nine straight bouts. He has fought once since becoming champion, but his opponent in that fight last summer, Yoel Romero, missed weight, making the contest a nontitle fight. Gastelum (25-3, 1 NC) defeated Rondaldo Souza and Michael Bisping in his last two fights.

Another highlight of the card is a second middleweight fight, a crossroads clash between legendary ex-champion Anderson Silva and rising star Israel Adesanya.

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