Kelvin Gastelum


Set to face Till on Nov. 2
August 26, 2019
Gastelum will fight Darren Till at middleweight for UFC 244 on Nov. 2 in New York City, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Gastelum, who has been out on a long medical suspension since coming up short for his quest for the UFC Middleweight Championship on April 13, will be looking to return to the win column against another former welterweight fighter. Even though it's Till that is moving up in weight class, Gastelum will still be at height and reach disadvantages. That's nothing new for Gastelum, who has been able to overcome that of late due to incredibly crisp striking defense and work in the pocket. Gastelum landed 91 significant strikes in his five-round war against Israel Adesanya and averages 1.42 significant strikes per minute more than Till. Gastelum has wrestling in his back pocket if he needs to use it, but both men should enter this fight with the primary game plan focused on the stand-up game. Look for Gastelum to enter as a slight betting favorite.
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Announces medical clearance
June 30, 2019
Gastelum (head) has been cleared to resume training and is targeting a November return, he announced via his personal Instagram page.
Gastelum is fresh off a five-round war against Israel Adesanya in which he absorbed 109 significant strikes -- the most for a single fight in his UFC career. Of that striking total, 68 of them went to his head, which resulted in the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission dealing Gastelum an indefinite suspension. This weekend's medical clearance will effectively lift that suspension and put Gastelum on a path to make his return to the Octagon in the fall, with his sights likely set on the UFC's annual trip to Madison Square Garden in New York. He later disclosed via his personal Twitter account that he is hopeful for a fight against fellow top contender Jack Hermansson. With Adesanya set to take on champion Robert Whittaker in a unification bout later this year and Yoel Romero currently set to face Paulo Costa, the Gastelum/Hermansson matchup appears to be the proper fight to make.
Long medical suspension
April 16, 2019
Gastelum has been suspended indefinitely by the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission pending CT scan results, reports.
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.
Falls short in Fight of Year candidate
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.