The Ultimate Fighter season 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum is currently competing at middleweight following several botched weight-cuts to welterweight. Gastelum won season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter in the middleweight division, but then dropped to welterweight in order to fight opponents his size. With that being said, Gastelum missed weight on several occasions, resulting in UFC President Dana White banning him from cutting to welterweight, and forcing him to move up to the middleweight division.
Gastelum made his first appearance at middleweight at UFC 206 in December, where he stepped into the Octagon against returning middleweight star Tim Kennedy for a highly anticipated, and very pivotal, middleweight showdown. Gastelum won the fight via 3rd round TKO, cementing his place at #10 on the UFC’s official middleweight division. He then signed to fight UFC veteran Vitor Belfort in the main event of ‘UFC Fight Night: 106’ this Saturday, where he has the opportunity to cement his place at the top of the UFC’s middleweight division with a potential win over a MMA legend.
With that being said, Gastelum is eyeing a potential return to welterweight, according to recent comments made during an interview with Fox Sports:
“In my head, yeah, I feel like welterweight’s still my optimal weight class,” Gastelum said. “I’m still figuring out my body and figuring out these weight cuts to make it easier. I’m still growing and learning with this. I’m rolling with the punches.
“You’ve got to learn and roll with the punches and grow from these experiences.”
Gastelum of course is riding a 2-fight win streak into his bout with Belfort, and despite one of those wins being a welterweight win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 200, Gastelum could make a big jump in the middleweight rankings this weekend if victorious.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/11/2017.