UFC middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum is looking to return to the Octagon this summer and he likes a matchup against Jack Hermansson for his comeback.
We last saw Gastelum fight at UFC 244 this past November when he dropped a split decision to Darren Till. It was Gastelum’s second straight loss following a unanimous decision defeat to Israel Adesanya at UFC 236 in one of the best fights of 2019. During training in January of this year, Gastelum suffered an injury to his LCL and he has been out rehabbing it ever since.
Speaking to MMAFighting.com’s Damon Martin, Gastelum talked about his recovery.
“I’ve been recovering from a torn LCL back in January. I had a full tear. No surgery needed, thankfully. Just been doing therapy on it and reconstructive therapy on it. It’s about 85 or 90 percent there,” Gastelum said.
“I’m just starting to grapple a bit, starting to box again. I’m starting to kick again. Training is picking back up a little bit. Just at the right time. Hopefully, by July, (and) I don’t know where this whole pandemic thing will be by then, but I’m hoping to fight by July.”
Gastelum said that he is gunning for that rematch with Adesanya but for now he is comfortable calling out another top contender in the form of Hermansson. The Swede was set to fight Chris Weidman at the canceled UFC Oklahoma City card and recently said he still planned on fighting Weidman. But Weidman also said the UFC is considering booking him against Yoel Romero or Edmen Shahbazyan.
If Hermansson vs. Weidman ends up falling off, perhaps Gastelum may end up getting the matchup he wants against “The Joker.” On paper, it would be a fight between two of the top-10 middleweights in the world both coming off of a loss, so perhaps the UFC matchmakers would like it as much as Gastelum likes it.
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