Kelvin Gastelum has explained why he decided to take a short-notice replacement t UFC 273.
Gastelum was set to face Nassourdine Imavov but the Frenchman had visa issues so the fight was off. It was then reported that Gastelum would be removed from the card and the bout with Imanov would be rescheduled. However, on Tuesday, it was revealed that ‘KG’ would now face unranked fighter Dricus Du Plessis, and the former TUF winner has a good reason why.
“It’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster. First, the fight was off is what I thought, and then we settled on rescheduling for May 7 in Phoenix, and so that’s what I thought was going to happen, and I was like, ‘All right, well, at least it’s a plus,” Gastelum said to The Underground. “I’m in Arizona for the first time in my UFC career. I’m fighting in Arizona, so that’s a plus.’ But then I was just kind of sitting back after a training session and I was like, ‘Man, I put in so much effort, so much time. I moved out here to Arizona for this, and like, I don’t want to let it go to waste,’ you know?…
“This was an amazing training camp,” Gastelum later added. “Put in a lot of effort, a lot of thought, not just me, but a group of people behind me. We all collectively put in a lot of effort and work into this camp, so I wasn’t going to let it go to waste.”
Dricus Du Plessis is an opponent Kelvin Gastelum didn’t know much about, so he’s spent the last few days studying him. Following that diagnoses Gastelum says this fight is all about him. He’s now working at Fight Ready and the 30-year-old says he has gotten a lot better and he plans on showing that next Saturday as he views this as a career reset.
“It feels like a restart in my career, honestly,” Gastelum said. “I’m making a lot of changes. I moved out here to Arizona. We’re doing things differently out here. As you can see, ‘Triple C’ is bringing in all these people wanting to work with him, and it’s for a reason. There’s a system that they’ve created and we’re following in it, and it’s pretty awesome results what we’ve had during this camp, and I’m excited. It feels like a restart in my career, feels like a restart for me. I feel like I’m in a great place, mentally, physically. It just feels like a whole new start for me.”
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