21-year-old, Kelvin Gastelum (7-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), was the surprise winner of “The Ultimate Fighter 17,” upsetting tournament favorite, Uriah Hall, in the season’s live finale, thus becoming the show’s middleweight winner.
After his victory over Hall, Gastelum promptly dropped to the welterweight division (170 pounds) and earned an impressive first-round submission finish of Brian Melancon in August.
Gastelum is currently sitting on the sidelines while he heals form surgery, but hopes to return to the octagon in Spring 2014 and start working his way towards a welterweight title shot, as he told MMAJunkie’s John Morgan:
“I’ve got somebody in mind, but I’m not going to be calling anybody out or anything,” Gastelum said. “Hopefully Joe Silva agrees with my idea. I’m not going to say who, but yeah, I’ve got somebody in mind.”
The “TUF 17″ winner went on to say he was motivated by the epic clash between Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks at this past weekend’s UFC 167 event and looks forward to proving he belongs among the welterweight division’s elite.
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“I will be back and better than ever,” Gastelum said. “I’m working to become the next welterweight champion. After what I saw on Saturday, I know what I need to do. I saw holes in other people’s games at the top of the list in my division, and I’m coming for all of them.”