The middleweights will square off in the headliner of UFC Fight Night 106, which will go down on March 11th in Fortaleza, Brazil. The bout comes at a time when Gastelum has scored consecutive wins over Johny Hendricks and most recently Tim Kennedy. While on the other hand, Belfort is coming off back-t0-back, stoppage losses to “Jacare” Souza and Gegard Mousasi.
Since the 25 year-old Gastelum is coming off one of his finest performances to date, and is widely considered to be one of the UFC’s most promising fighters (weight issues aside), he’ll likely be a considerable favorite come fight night. But, Gastelum recently had this to say about Belfort (quote via MMA Fighting):
“He’s dangerous. He’s a very, very dangerous fighter,” Gastelum said. “He’s been fighting for over 20 years. That’s something to respect. He’s been up, he’s been down, he’s been up again, he’s been down again. Right now, his last few fights haven’t gone his way, but he’s been in this position before so I’m not counting him out at all. I feel like he’s been in this position before, he’s been fighting for 20 years, so he should feel very comfortable coming into his fight.”
There’s no question that Belfort has demonstrated innumerable times he can be an extremely dangerous fighter. In addition, the Brazilian has gone through tough stretches before, only to re-enter the title shot picture.
But, at this stage of the game, “The Phenom” should be in tough against a well rounded fighter like Gastelum. This could be why the latter says he thinks he’ll KO Belfort in round one…If Belfort can score a win, however, it will definitely buzz the MMA world big time.