Kelvin Gastelum (18-8-1, 12-8-1 UFC) made his return at UFC 287, headlining the preliminary matches. Gastelum defeated Chris Curtis (30-10 MMA, 4-2 UFC) via. unanimous decision in the fight of the night. Gastelum had a fair amount of pressure as his last bout before UFC 287 was nearly two years ago, on August 21st, 2021 against Jared Cannonier. Coming into the fight at UFC 287, Gastelum was on a two-fight losing streak and 1-5 in his last six bouts.
Gastelum initially tweeted his desire to fight for a shot at the middleweight title with Dricus Du Plessis.
Gastelum Has Decided to Return to Welterweight
The news was reported by Carlos Contreras Legaspi (ESPN Deportes). Legaspi said via. Twitter, “Kelvin Gastelum told us he is coming back to welterweight, UFC executives agreed with the move and he (Gastelum) expects to get a fight in September.” Legaspi also added that Gastelum will work with Dana White’s nutritionist to make the move.
Gastelum was selected for “The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen” season. Gastelum was picked last by Chael Sonnen. Gastelum not only defeated his next three opponents but finished them also. After the three straight victories, Gastelum was on to face fellow Sonnen teammate- Uriah Hall in the finale and won via. split decision. Gastelum went from the last pick to the winner of the middleweight tournament.
After winning the TUF tournament, Gastelum decided to drop down and compete at welterweight. Gastelum fought five times at welterweight in his first run but missed weight twice, 172.5 pounds against Nico Musoke and 180 pounds against Tyron Woodley. After the last weight miss against Woodley, Dana White ordered Gastelum to move up to middleweight. Gastelum then defeated Nate Marquardt via. TKO at UFC 188 in his middleweight return. Gastelum then returned to welterweight but was defeated by Neil Magny via. split decision at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale.
Gastelum’s next welterweight bout was to be at UFC 205 against Donald Cerrone but on the day of weigh-ins, he did not make an attempt to make the 171-pound limit for the bout, and the fight was scrapped. Three strikes and you’re out according to White as he said “he will never let him (Gastelum) fight at 170 again.” But they say time heals all wounds as it seems Dana White has given Gastelum the greenlight to compete at the welterweight division once again. Gastelum went 4-2 in his bouts at welterweight and 8-6-1 at middleweight.
Do you think Gastelum can have success at welterweight or do you think the weight will be an issue? Let us know in the comments below.
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