Kelvin Gastelum believes his best option is to return to the welterweight division, but if the UFC offers him some interesting bouts at 185, like a scrap with Vitor Belfort, the 25 year-old is down.
Gastelum took on Tim Kennedy at UFC 206 on Saturday night, who heading into the card, was ranked #10 at 185. The fight came together after Gastelum failed to make weight for a scheduled welterweight bout with Donald Cerrone last month, and after Rashad Evans wasn’t medically cleared to fight Kennedy.
Well, despite the fact he was clearly outsized by Kennedy, Gastelum proceeded to finish the rugged vet with punches in round three. Afterwards, however, Gastelum likely surprised more than a few folks, by announcing he still intends to drop down to welterweight. Yes, despite his well documented issues making 170.
At the post-fight presser, Gastelum was asked additional questions about his future weight class, and here is some of what he had to say (quote via MMA Fighting):
“I think if I’m offered a fight that interests me at 185, I don’t see why I wouldn’t stay here,” Gastelum said. “But I think 170 is my optimal weight class. I took this fight as a favor for the UFC. I knew they needed a replacement for Rashad Evans, so I stepped in. And I heard they need another replacement in Brazil with Vitor Belfort, so if they want to make that happen, then I’m willing to step up and do that as well.”
Belfort – Gastelum certainly has the makings to be a pretty interesting fight. But, you have to wonder if Belfort would be interested, since recently he’s talked about fighting Nick Diaz or Anderson Silva. It also remains to be seen if the UFC offers Gastelum another bout at 170 right away. Since Gastelum is just 5’9 tall, however, you can understand why he believes fighting at welterweight is best.