On November 5, the UFC’s Octagon will return to sun-soaked Mexico City. The card will be headlined by a lightweight contender bout between the streaking Tony Ferguson and former champion Rafael Dos Anjos.
The card will also see fifth-ranked welterweight contender Kelvin Gastelum return to action after a dominant UFC 200 win over former champ Johny Hendricks. Despite his high position in the welterweight rankings, however, Gastelum will be taking on an unranked foe in the veteran Jorge Masvidal.
In a recent interview with Las Vegas Review-Journal, Gastelum admitted that, while he respects Masvidal, he was certainly not his first choice as far as opponents go.
“I was trying to email [UFC matchmaker Joe Silva], telling him I wanted [Robbie] Lawler in Mexico City, telling him I wanted [Donald] Cerrone in Mexico City. These kinds of fights are the fights that I want to get me closer to where I want to go, but it seems [the UFC] kind of wants me to just chill a little bit.”
“But I’m game for anybody that comes my way. Jorge challenged me on Twitter and they gave me the fight. If I need to take everybody one-by-one, then so be it.
Though he’s not particularly pleased with the opponent he was given, Gastelum assures he’s not taking Masvidal lightly, and that he understands the risks associated with this bout.
“He’s dangerous because he’s not ranked.” Gastelum said. “It’s very dangerous to take a fight against an unranked guy, so I’m taking this fight very seriously. He’s very good, coming off a very good win over Ross Pearson, so I expect a good fight, but at the same time I feel like I can beat him anywhere.”
Do you think Gastelum should have gotten a higher-ranked opponent, or is Masvidal the right choice? Sound off, PENN nation!