The Ultimate Fighter season 17 winner, Kelvin Gastelum may have just got the title eliminator he was looking for.
The UFC announced on Thursday that a huge middleweight fight will be taking place at UFC 224 on May 12 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil as the countryman, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza returns home to defend his turf against one of the best young rising stars in MMA, Kelvin Gastelum.
— UFC (@ufc) February 23, 2018
Each fighter’s last outing couldn’t have gone much more perfectly. Souza fought just a few weeks ago in the main event of UFC on Fox 27 when he knocked out Derek Brunson in the very first round. Gastelum too headlined his last fight when he separated the former champion, Michael Bisping, from his senses in the UFC’s second visit to China(first in the mainland).
The Yuma, Arizona native, Gastelum mentioned in an interview recently that he would like to fight Jacare next and he just so happened to get his wish.
“The fight that will get me to the title shot. That’s the fight I want. I would love to fight in Rio, and obviously, a fight with Jacare would propel me to where I want to go.”
But of course, Gastelum did admit that he is still nervous about the Brazilian commissions after his last fight in Brazil against Vitor Belfort was overturned after he tested positive for marijuana use.
“I’m scared of that commission, I don’t know what to think of the commission. I should probably talk to someone in the commission or [UFC vice president of regulatory affairs] Marc Ratner. Hopefully, he’d keep me safe and nothing happens to my [drug] samples. I just don’t know what to think of the commission over there.”
Perhaps Kelvin will just figure not to smoke once the fight gets closer.
Regardless, this is a spectacular matchup between two of the division’s best and great challenge for Gastelum in hostile territory. Who wins it and how?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/22/2018.