On February 24, in Melbourne, Australia, Kelvin Gastelum will get his long-awaited shot at the UFC middleweight title as he battles reigning champion Robert Whittaker in one of the most competitive-looking matchups we’ve seen in awhile.
Heading into this fight, the MMA community seems to be divided on who will win. Kelvin Gastelum, however, is extremely confident that he’ll come out on top — in quick and decisive fashion.
“I’m predicting a first-round knockout,” Gastelum said during a recent media day in Los Angeles (via MMA Fighting). “I’ve put in so much work and I feel so confident in my abilities and confident in what I’ve done in the sport that I’m predicting a first-round knockout.”
If Kelvin Gastelum does topple Robert Whittaker to claim the middleweight title, he expects to have his work cut out for him as the champion, as the middleweight division is currently crowded with dangerous contenders.
“You’ve got guys like Borrachina [Paulo Costa] and you’ve got guys like Style Bender [Israel Adesanya] you’ve got Rob Whittaker who is still go going to be in the mix, he’s not going to go anywhere after the fight, you know what I mean?” Gastelum said. “You got Yoel Romero in the mix. The champion of this division has got his work cut out for him in his next few fights and I plan on doing just that, bring a little more legitimacy to the division, you know what I mean? For awhile it was GSP, and interim title, and then, so yeah. I want to be able to be the guy who brings legitimacy to the division.”
“I know that if I clip them, anybody, I mean anybody in the world, not just Rob, anybody, when I cut my left hand in, he’s going down,” Gastelum added. “But yeah, Rob has a lot of heart. I’m expecting a hard-fought fight, but at the same time, I’m so prepared for this opportunity that I’m expecting it not to even be close.”
Do you think Kelvin Gastelum can deliver on his prediction and knock Robert Whittaker out inside a round?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/24/2019.