25-Year-Old UFC Middleweight 14-2-0 (1 NC)
May 12, 2017 Kelvin Gastelum News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Gastelum (suspension) will fight Chris Weidman at FOX UFC Fight Night on July 22 in New York, Damon Martin of FOX Sports reports.
In what will be his return from a controversial "violation" of the sport's anti-doping policy, Gastelum will look to extend his three-match winning streak against a fighter in Weidman who's currently on a three-fight losing streak. Look for Gastelum to come out with a vengeance after having his victory over Vitor Belfort -- which he clearly earned -- overturned to a no-contest.
Kelvin Gastelum: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum's career had been surging until a recent bout of severely bad luck. He was flagged and provisionally suspended by USADA following a positive test for cannabinoid metabolites, which are not permitted in competition above a certain threshold. Thoughts on cannabis as a "performance-enhancing substance" aside, having it in your system above a 150 ng/ml threshold is against the rules. The lapse in judgement will hit him in the wallet and keep him from competing for a short time, but arguably the toughest part for Gastelum is having to relinquish a victory that he clearly earned. Belfort was far from competitive in the win that was overtuned, and it's tough to argue that the banned substance played any role in that win. Gastelum will be forced to accept this penalty, but at 25 years old, it hopefully won't have an effect on the rest of his career. He's a promising middleweight on a three-fight winning streak.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum was all set to fight Silva at UFC 212 on June 3, but this doping violation could potentially result in a suspension instead. It's unclear what punishment he will face at this time, if any, but there will likely be more updates on his status in the near future.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum handily defeated Vitor Belfort at UFC Fortaleza on Saturday in a fight that took just 26 significant strikes (including two knockdowns) to finish. After the bout, he called for Anderson Silva, and the UFC didn't take long to grant him his wish. Gastelum will appear undersized compared to Silva, as he's roughly five inches shorter with about a six-inch reach disadvantage (per FightMetric.com). This will be the case in most middleweight fights for Gastelum, though, as he's a true welterweight that has been forced to move up due to weight cutting issues. Gastelum will have both youth and momentum swinging the fight his way, however, which is why he'll likely enter as a favorite despite fighting Silva in his home country.
Fantasy AnalysisAs expected. Gastelum allowed Belfort to press the action a bit more than he would have liked early on, but he eventually landed countless power shots that put an end to the Brazilian's evening, and possibly his UFC career. Gastelum has about as much natural physical ability as any fighter on the UFC roster. The biggest issue for Kelvin moving forward is that he is going to be giving up a lot of size to pretty much every single middleweight he faces. It didn't matter against Belfort, or in his middleweight debut against Tim Kennedy at UFC 206, but it's certainly something to keep an eye on moving forward. Still, Gastelum is surging towards the top of the 185-pound rankings. It's hard to believe that the kid is just 25 years old. He has a real chance to turn into one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum has a career record of 14-2 and is coming off a victory over Tim Kennedy at UFC 206. The recent victory was his first in the 185-pound weight class, as he was forced to move up to middleweight after failing to make the 170-pound welterweight limit multiple times. Although a bit undersized for a middleweight, Gastelum will have to consistently prove to UFC President Dana White that he is capable of making 170 pounds before the promotion will book him again at that weight class. Belfort, meanwhile, has struggled recently with just two wins since 2013. THE UFC veteran may be at the moonlight stages of his career, but he should hold a distinguishable size advantage over Gastelum at 185 pounds. Despite the fight taking place on Belfort's home turf, Gastelum will likely be the favorite in the bout at the 17,000-seat Olympic Training Center in Fortaleza, UFC's first time back in the capital of Ceara since 2013.
Fantasy AnalysisThis is the type of potential that Gastelum has if he can simply show up to the arena and make weight. Kelvin really should be fighting at welterweight, but he hasn't shown the necessary discipline to make the 171-pound weight limit. He fought at middleweight on Saturday, with according to him, not having to cut any weight at all, and he destroyed a much bigger man in Kennedy. The difference in striking ability between the two men was truly laughable. In his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Gastelum stated his intention to once again hopefully fight at welterweight. Considering how good he looked on Saturday at middleweight, that's probably a mistake. Gastelum is almost certainly worried about being the smaller fighter in most every middleweight fight that he competes in, but there's something to be said for not having to drain your body to make weight. Hopefully Kelvin changes his mind. There are all sorts of intriguing matchups for him at 185 pounds.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum missed weight badly for his welterweight matchup against Donald Cerrone at UFC 205 -- so much so that he didn't even bother showing up for weigh-ins. The New York State Athletic commission responded by suspending Gastelum for six months, and although the new fight is in Toronto, most athletic commissions will honor each other's decisions. It appears that suspension has been uplifted, however, as ESPN's Brett Okamoto suggests Gastelum will be fined instead. Now cleared to compete, Gastelum will face an opponent in Kennedy that will own a two-inch advantage in both height and reach over him. Expect this to be the case moving forward for Gastelum, who is a bit undersized for the middleweight division, but put himself in this position by missing weight for welterweight fights multiple times.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum knew he wasn't going to make weight for his scheduled fight against Donald Cerrone, so the welterweight fighter didn't bother to show up. That apparently irked the NYSAC, who issued their first suspension since the state legalized MMA. Although a somewhat odd decision, other state athletic commissions are not required to honor the punishment, although many choose to do so in most cases. It's already been announced that Gastelum, who has an extensive history of missing weight, will move up tomiddleweight (185 pounds) for his next fight in the UFC.
Fantasy AnalysisDonald Cerrone first weighed in at 170.4 pounds, and the New York State Athletic Commission allows only a five-pound weight difference between fighters, and Gastelum knew he was not going to make weight, so he did not show up to Friday morning's weigh in. It leaves five fights on the main card for Saturday.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum's athletic ability is undeniable, but consistency is still an issue here. Gastelum looked great in an easy win over former UFC Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks in July, but let's see if he can follow it up with another strong performance against Cowboy. As strong as wrestler as Gastleum is, getting into ground exchanges with Cerrone is a bad idea. The form TUF winner is going to have to rely on his striking if he hopes to prevail at MSG.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum was originally scheduled to fight Jorge Masvidal, but Cowboy's scheduled opponent Robbie Lawler backed out in order to prepare longer, opening the door for Gastelum to take a bigger fight. Masvidal is now without an opponent and it's unclear whether he will receive another match up on the TUF Latin America card. Gastelum is much less experienced than Cerrone, but he is a durable fighter, going toe-to-toe with Tyron Woodley and Neil Magny before losing both to a split decision (his only two career losses). The 24-year-old already has a solid UFC resume, taking decisions from Uriah Hall, Rick Story and most recently, Johny Hendricks at UFC 200. Gastelum has answered questions about his conditioning over his latests fights, and has a diverse enough skill set to compete with Cowboy in several areas of mixed martial arts.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum took a unanimous decision victory over former champion Johnny Hendricks at UFC 200, and will look to keep his momentum rolling in November. However, the 24-year-old will have to defeat Masvidal, a much more experienced fighter. Gastelum is a very balanced fighter, getting four wins each by knockout, submission, and decision, while Masvidal shys away from winning through submission, as he has only two submission wins in his 30-11 career.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum faded a tad in the middle frame, but he dominated Rounds 1 and 3 en route to the unanimous decision win. No one has ever doubted Gastelum's ability, and as long as his ability to safely cut weight and his cardio are on point, he is an easy top-ten welterweight, and more likely a top-five guy. The 24-year-old Gastelum combines power and speed with good takedown defense, which is generally more than enough to get the job done. Gastelum has been committed to getting into better shape of the last year or so and the results of that are evident. It was an impressive effort on Saturday.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum hasn’t exactly set the world on fire of late (he is 1-2 in his last three bouts), but this is the high-profile fight that he has been in search of. Going up against a former champion, the 24-year old Gastelum will get title-implicating fights if he can defeat Hendricks. Gastelum’s biggest issue has long been his conditioning. He has been doing a bit better in that area lately, but he has missed weight twice in his UFC career and he is dropping back down to welterweight for this fight after competing at middleweight in his last contest. Gastelum has a chance here if he shows up in shape, but it is anyone’s guess if he actually will.
Fantasy AnalysisThere are reports that Gastelum suffered a wrist injury, although nothing has been confirmed by either the UFC nor by Gastelum's camp. Newcomer Alex Morono will take Gastelum's place and face Noke. A lightweight bout between Abel Trujillo and Tony Sims will replace the scheduled Gastelum/Noke fight on the main PPV portion of the card. Gastelum dropped a split decision last month to Neil Magny in Mexico.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum fought less than three weeks ago, a split decision loss to Neil Magny in Mexico City. By the time the Noke fight rolls around, he will have stepped into the octagon for a second time in less than six weeks. Gastelum started slowly in the Magny fight but he came on as the five-round bout moved to the later stages. Noke has looked better than expected of late, but Gastelum should be a heavy favorite for this bout.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum didn't do enough to win, but a draw seemed like a real possibility. Ultimately, he ended up with the short end of the stick. Gastelum started slowly, but really turned it on over the final two rounds. Perhaps most impressive was the fact that his cardio seemed to improve as the fight went on. Gastelum had a real chance to end the fight in Round 4 after landing several big shots, but Magny hung on and ultimately earned the split decision. The biggest concern for Gastelum was how much time he spent on his back early on. By the time he righted himself, he had already dropped the first three rounds in the eyes of two of the judges. Despite the loss, it was a gutsy effort from a young fighter. As long as he keeps up with his conditioning, the other part of his game will come along.
Fantasy AnalysisIt took the UFC less than 24 hours to find a replacement for the injured Matt Brown (undisclosed). As long as Gastelum can make it through his weight cut in one piece (which has been a serious issue in the past), he will be a heavy favorite over Magny.
Fantasy AnalysisThe UFC said they are searching for a replacement, which seems to be a pretty good indication that they are trying to keep Gastelum on the card. It's certainly not the deepest card that the UFC has ever put on, so it would be good news if they can find a new opponent for Gastelum. Gastelum, who has had problems making weight in the past, is reportedly confident that he would be able to cut down to 170 pounds with no issue.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum still intends to cut his weight down to 170 but there has been wide skepticism for his ability to do so at all, much less this November. Nevertheless, he's expected to face Brown who's coming off a submission win over Tim Means in UFC 189 just last month.
Fantasy AnalysisLeading up to UFC 188 on Saturday, Gastelum had failed to make weight for two of his three most recent fights, resulting in the promotion forcing him to go up to the 185-pound middleweight class. Following Saturday's bout, Gastelum clearly expressed his desire to return to the welterweight class, but the UFC has made it clear that it won't be happening in time for his next fight with the promotion. In the past, Gastelum has worked with a nutritionist to reach 170 pounds, and he'll likely have to go this route again if he plans on being cleared to fight in the welterweight division. Fighting in that weight class would likely give Gastelum the best chance at a title, but it remains to be seen how his personal health would hold up after cutting the weight.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum battered Marquardt for two rounds and Marquardt and his corner decided that he wouldn't be coming out for the third round. It was a very easy day at the office for Gastelum. Marquardt couldn't come close to matching his speed and the fight could have easily been stopped at several points. Gastelum's best path to a title is still in the welterweight division, but he's had problems making weight and it being forced to fight at middleweight. If he ever hires a nutritionist and gets his diet together, he has the potential to be a real threat in the lower weight class.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum will be moving up from welterweight to middleweight for the fight, and although he may not be as experienced as Marquardt, he's the higher-ranked fighter in the bout. Gastelum is truly an up-and-comer in the sport, with his only MMA loss being a controversial split decision against Tyron Woodley at UFC 183. He defends just 55 percent of takedowns, and is likely stronger on his feet, landing 3.26 significant strikes per minute. Going up against a fighter that has lost four of his last five contests, the oddsmakers are clearly leaning towards youth and track record by giving Gastelum the edge.