Kelvin Gastelum

USA

Out
Injury Head
Est. Return 6/22/2019
Long medical suspension
MiddleweightUFC
Out
April 16, 2019
Gastelum has been suspended indefinitely by the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission pending CT scan results, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Gastelum is coming off a war with now-interim champion Israel Adesanya, over which he sustained 109 significant strikes -- 70 of which were to the head. It was a fight for the ages where both fighters took home Fight of the Night bonuses. Even with the loss, Gastelum's stock likely still rises due to his impressive performance. Nonetheless, he'll need to be cleared of any damage sustained in this one before being permitted to enter the Octagon again. At the very least, he'll need to spend a mandatory 60 days on the shelf.
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Falls short in Fight of Year candidate
MiddleweightUFC
Out
April 13, 2019
Gastelum came up just short in his quest for the Interim UFC Middleweight Championship on Saturday, falling to Israel Adesanya via unanimous decision (46-48, 46-48, 46-48) at UFC 236 in Atlanta.
ANALYSIS
What a fight. Gastelum should be plenty proud his his performance despite the loss, but he'll at least take home a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus. Kelvin fought a hard, tough fight, but Adesanya eventually pulled away in the fifth and final round. The biggest concern for Gastelum going into this bout was the massive size differential between the two men, and for the most part, Kelvin handled it well. He got inside with regularity and he ate everything Adesanya threw his way without issue until the final moments of the fight. Joe Rogan said during the bout that Gastelum eats strikes as well as any man on earth, and he was correct in that assessment. Kelvin stands just 5-foot-9, but he showed tonight that he can go toe-to-toe with the best the world has to offer at 185 pounds. Gastelum has seemingly been around forever, but he will turn just 28 years old in October. We'll hear from Kelvin again.
To fight for belt in April
MiddleweightUFC
Out
February 19, 2019
Gastelum will take on Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight title at UFC 236 on April 13, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Gastelum had been scheduled to get his first middleweight title shot at UFC 234 on Feb. 10, but that fight was scrapped after Whittaker came down with a hernia on the day of the fight, which required emergency surgery. With Whittaker presumably on the shelf for over a month, Gastelum will now take on Adesanya, who picked up a decision win over Anderson Silva in the main event of that very same card. Gastelum measured up well for the matchup against Whittaker, especially given the fact that he's a former welterweight, but the size discrepancy will be much more pronounced against Adesanya. That might be enough to swing betting lines at the time of weigh-ins, as Adesanya is seven inches taller with a nine-inch reach advantage. This has the makings of a fan-friendly fight, as neither combatant has been particularly interested in wrestling of late. Gastelum does have the skills as a former high school state champion, however. He would be wise to bring them back for this fight, as Adesanya has yet to be truly tested by a wrestler, and it would be one way for Gastelum to help close the distance. He's most comfortable on the feet within boxing range, but if Adesanya fights smart, the opportunities to get there will be few and far between.
Title shot cancelled
MiddleweightUFC
Out
February 9, 2019
Gastelum's title shot against Robert Whittaker was cancelled Saturday due to Whittaker suffering a hernia in his abdomen, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
With the cancellation happening so soon before the fight was supposed to occur, Gastelum will be forced to miss the card entirely. It's not yet clear how long Whittaker will be out for and when the pair could possibly reschedule their fight.
Title shot to come in February
MiddleweightUFC
Out
November 13, 2018
Gastelum will face Robert Whittaker for a shot at the middleweight title at UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia on Feb. 10, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Gastelum will have to travel to his opponent's home country for his shot at the belt. The matchup has been known for several months, though the fight itself has been delayed by Whittaker's hand surgery and the duo's coaching duties for season 28 of The Ultimate Fighter. Gastelum is expected to enter as the underdog, as he gives up three inches of height and two inches of reach to his opponent.
Next up for middleweight title shot
MiddleweightUFC
Out
July 7, 2018
Gastelum will take on Robert Whittaker for the UFC Middleweight Championship after the duo coaches season 28 of The Ultimate Fighter, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Gastelum was the winner of TUF 17 as a welterweight back in 2013, but was forced to move up to middleweight after having multiple problems making the 170-pound limit. He's 4-1 since making the move, with the only time a size disadvantage was significant being a loss to Chris Weidman. This time around, he'll concede three inches in height and two inches in reach to Whittaker, who is fresh off defending his middleweight title against Yoel Romero. Whittaker suffered a hand injury in that fight that ultimately required surgery, but he's expected to be ready by the time the taping of the show concludes. The UFC has yet to announce a date and location for the event, but when they do, look for Gastelum to open up as the betting underdog. Gastelum may have slightly faster hands, but he has yet to face a striker as powerful as Whittaker since moving up to middleweight, which may force him to lean on his wrestling a bit more than is typical.