UFC 236 | Kelvin Gastelum opens up on mental hurdles ahead of Israel Adesanya fight

Kelvin Gastelum, UFC 236
Image: @ufc on instagram

Kelvin Gastelum was supposed to battle Robert Whittaker for the undisputed UFC middleweight championship at UFC 234 in February. Regrettably, Whittaker was forced out of the bout with a last-minute injury, leaving Gastelum without his long-awaited title shot.

As Whittaker recovers, Kelvin Gastelum is now scheduled to battle Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight title in the co-main event of UFC 236 this Saturday.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Gastelum admitted that it was difficult to get over the disappointment of not getting to fight Whittaker. He says it took him some time get back on track mentally.

“I was so devastated mentally, physically and everything else,” Gastelum said (via MMAjunkie). “I was just drained from everything that had happened. It was hard for me to get re-motivated. It was hard for me to kind of reset my mind, even though we have a very dangerous opponent in front of us. It was just hard for me to get re-motivated. It took a couple weeks for me to just kind of get in that zone.”

The good news is that Kelvin Gastelum was ultimately able to refocus. He’s now dialed in on the task at hand: his title fight with the dangerous Israel Adesanya.

“I’m here, we’re doing it, we got over that hump, and I’m feeling 1,000 percent ready for this fight,” he said.

Who do you think will come out on top when Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya battle for interim gold at UFC 236 this weekend?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/11/2019.