After being forced off the UFC 205 fight card due to missing weight, Kelvin Gastelum moved up to the the middleweight division at UFC 206 on Saturday and took out top ten-ranked Tim Kennedy.
The youngest winner of The Ultimate Fighter, Gastelum entered the fight with his back against the wall after missing weight on Nov. 11. He needed an impressive performance and that’s what he delivered.
Kennedy used his size and strength to put Gastelum on his back in the opening round, but as the fight wore on Gastelum took over. He began landing his jab regularly. He put together combinations and had Kennedy in survival mode midway through the second frame.
In the third round, Gastelum was the aggressor. He moved forward landing combinations as Kennedy’s pace severely slowed. Gastelum, sensing a finish, poured on the punches. He landed a combination that wobbled Kennedy before dropping him with a left hand. The end came midway through the final round.
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“It’s been a rough month. I’m not going to lie,” said Gastelum after the fight. “I definitely felt like my back was against the wall. I had a lot of things going on heading into this fight. I proved that I can overcome big obstacles in my life.”
With another win at middleweight under his belt, Gastelum plans to make lifestyle changes and return to the welterweight division. After the UFC 205 weigh-in, UFC president Dana White said that the fight promotion would no longer book Gastelum for welterweight bouts.
“I felt great coming into this fight. I didn’t cut any weight. It’s my fault. I get too much overweight outside of camp. That’s something that’s going to change for me. I was able to get away with it the last few fights, but not anymore. I’ve got to change my lifestyle. You guys are going to see the change in my life from here on out,” he said.
“I will show up at Dana White’s doorstep at 170 pounds if I have to.”
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