While TUF season 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum is certainly a top 10 fighter in both the welterweight and middleweight divisions, Gastelum has received quite a bit of criticism for missing weight on numerous occasions when making the cut to 170 to fight at welterweight.
Kelvin Gastelum’s first run-in with the scale came at UFC Fight Night 44 in 2014, where he missed weight by almost 2 pounds before his fight with Nico Musoke. Following that, Gastelum has another run-in with the scale in 2015, when he missed weight by ten pounds ahead of his UFC 183 scrap with Tyron Woodley, where he lost a split decision. Most recently, Gastelum was forced out of his UFC 205 scrap with Donald Cerrone when he actually skipped attempting to formally make weight as he was aware that he was well over the welterweight non-title fight limit of 171 pounds.
Following that, UFC President Dana White stated that he would never let the TUF winner fight at welterweight again. Subsequently, Gastelum was booked for a UFC 206 scrap with Tim Kennedy, which he won via 3rd round TKO, putting him on a 2-fight win streak. Now, ahead of his ‘UFC Fight Night: Fortaleza’ headlining scrap with Vitor Belfort, Gastelum has reiterated that if the right fight comes up at welterweight, he will make the cut.
He spoke to MMAJunkie:
“I said at the post-fight press conference if I had a fight that would interest me in middleweight, I would stay here; (otherwise) I’d go back down to welterweight,” Gastelum said. “So I said if I get a fight like Vitor Belfort, who’s a big name, a legend in MMA, and he’s ranked above me.
“So they gave me the fight, the main event in Brazil. I’ve got a new contract, and things are looking good right now.”
While that sounds like a great plan, Kelvin Gastelum knows there is some skepticism regarding his potential return to welterweight.
“It does bother me,” Gastelum said. “But at the same time, I’ve brought it onto myself. I have to face the consequences on a media standpoint now. It does bother me. It bothers me a lot. But I have to take it. I’m not one of those guys who shies away from his problems. I like to handle it upfront and kind of grab the bull by the horns.”
“For me, I just have to learn to keep my weight down outside of camp. That was my main problem. I get too heavy. And I eat carelessly, I drink carelessly outside of camp, and that’s my fault. That’s not going to happen anymore. That’s a hard lesson learned, but I’m just trying to stay positive and learn from my mistakes.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/24/2017.