The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen middleweight tournament winner Kelvin Gastelum is dropping down to the welterweight division.
Gastelum (6-0) was the last pick on Team Sonnen, coached by UFC contender Chael Sonnen. At 21-years-old, he became the youngest winner in the reality show’s eight-year history.
“I’m going to go down to 170,” Gastelum told Knockout Radio, an official content partner of MMAWeekly.com.
The San Jose, Calif., native wants to take four to five months off before accepting another fight, and expects that fight to be in the welterweight division.
“Nothing is confirmed, but I’m hoping for (that),” Gastelum responded when asked if his next fight would be in the 170-pound weight class.
Gastelum’s move to a lower weight class following his appearance on the show is a common theme for past Ultimate Fighter winners.
Diego Sanchez, winner of the debut season of The Ultimate Fighter faced Kenny Florian in the finals of the middleweight tournament. They both would eventually end up being lightweight contenders.
Former UFC lightweight titleholder Rashad Evans won the second season competing as a heavyweight. Michael Bisping emerged as the winner of the third season as a light heavyweight and is now a middleweight contender. The list goes on and on.
Gastelum’s time off won’t be filled with vacation time in exotic destinations. He plans to spend the time traveling to gyms and improving on his game.
“I want to take a little break and then get back in it, travel a little bit and learn from different camps, and then come back home and start training hard,” said Gastelum. “I don’t know exactly where I want to go, but I know that I want to travel around and train.”