Although Kelvin Gastelum’s been told by the UFC that his run at 170 is over for now, the former TUF winner is still gunning for the promotion’s welterweight title.
As you likely recall, Gastelum came in way over weight–as in 9 pounds over–for his bout with Tyron Woodley at UFC 183. Gastelum, who has had issues making weight in the past, ended up losing the fight by split decision.
Well, recently the 23 year-old fighter spoke with MMA Junkie.com about his future, and Gastelum relayed the following:
“I still plan on being the welterweight champion one day, and I’m going to work my butt off to make sure that happens,” Gastelum said. “Dana wants to punish me? He wants to put me up in the middleweight bracket? That’s fine. I’ll take my punishment. I’ll take responsibility for my actions and face it, but it doesn’t mean I won’t try to fight my way back down to welterweight.”
It’s not surprising to hear Gastelum say this, as there’s no question that for some time now, he’s been regarded as one of the UFC’s top welterweight prospects.
Gastelum wouldn’t say what specific issues he had leading up to UFC 183, but he did relay in the aforementioned interview that he thought about pulling out to the bout. In addition, Gastelum said he was “taken by surprise” that the UFC didn’t pull him from the bout with Woodley, after he was hospitalized the day before.
It will be interesting to see what unfolds for Gastelum in the coming months. If you missed it, recently the UFC announced that he and Efrain Escudero will coach the upcoming season of “TUF: Latin America.”
After Gastelum decisioned Uriah Hall in 2013 to win TUF 17, he proceeded to win four straight bouts, before facing Woodley. Currently he’s ranked #11 in the UFC’s welterweight division.