“It does worry me a little bit. But I can’t let it influence my strategy and what I want to go in there and do,” Gastelum said.
As tough as it may be to face Weidman on his home turf, Gastelum never blinked when the opportunity was presented to him because the UFC offered him the fight as the main event and that was all he needed to hear.
Gastelum has been making a steady climb up the middleweight rankings with his past couple of fights and having the entire world watch him headline a card against a former champion is a perfect way to make everyone pay attention to what he’s doing, no matter what commission is running the show.
“The only thing that played a factor in me accepting the fight was me fighting in the main event. I want that spotlight. I want to people to pay attention to my fight,” Gastelum said. “But other that, I know the New York commission is pretty harsh to deal with.
“I know several organizations already had fights there and they’ve had troubles and fighters talk with each other and the word spreads around quick. Everyone’s saying the same thing, New York commission is very new to MMA and still have a lot of catching up to do.”
That being said, the best way Gastelum can take all of the power away from the commission, the officials and even the referee inside the Octagon is by going out and putting Weidman away before the final bell.
Gastelum knows there can’t be a decision rendered if he never allows anyone to put a score on his fight and that’s how he plans to settle things with Weidman on Saturday night.
“That is it,” Gastelum said about putting Weidman away. “If I go in there and finish the fight in the first round like I know I can, I don’t have to worry about any of that.”
Listen to the rest of Gastelum’s interview along with new Bellator star Heather Hardy on the latest Fight Society podcast. Download and subscribe to the show via Apple Podcasts or Soundcloud.