Rafael Natal vs. Robert Whittaker set for UFC 197 “Cormier vs. Jones II” in April

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Fresh off a win at UFC on Fox 18 a week and a half ago, Rafael Natal has his next booking set, as the UFC announced this week that he’ll meet Robert Whittaker at UFC 197 this April.

Natal, 33, has picked up four straight wins in the UFC’s middleweight field, though they haven’t all been in great performances. He did score a stoppage win in that last fight, finishing Kevin Casey in the third round in Newark. The Brazilian is now 9-4-1 through 14 UFC fights.

New Zealand’s Whittaker is on a four-fight winning streak of his own, including three in a row since moving to the middleweight division. The winner of the “Nations” season of The Ultimate Fighter is 6-2 overall in the UFC, with his most recent defeat coming to new top welterweight contender Stephen Thompson in 2014. In his last outing in November, he derailed Uriah Hall at UFC 193.

UFC 197 hits Las Vegas on April 23, headlined by the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.

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