Kelvin Gastelum: People want to see me fight Israel Adesanya

Kelvin Gastelum has his eyes on the prize.

By: Tim Bissell | 6 months ago
Kelvin Gastelum: People want to see me fight Israel Adesanya
Kelvin Gastelum after he beat Chris Curtis at UFC 287. IMAGO/Alejandro Salazar

Kelvin Gastelum is on a high after taking a hard fought decision over Chris Curtis at UFC 287. After his Fight of the Night winning effort, Gastelum hopped on his YouTube channel to announce “I’m back!”

The 31-year-old former TUF winner snapped a two fight losing streak with his win over Curtis. In his previous two bouts he dropped unanimous decisions to Jared Cannonier and Robert Whittaker. The win over Curtis is only Gastelum’s second victory since 2019. Over that span he also lost to Darren Till, Jack Hermansson and Israel Adesanya.

The loss to Adesanya was for the interim UFC middleweight championship and came after Gastelum pulled off back-to-back wins over Jacare Souza and Michael Bisping. The fight with Adesanya, at UFC 236, ended in a unanimous decision win for the current champ.

Video: Kelvin Gastelum talks possible rematch with Adesanya

Kelvin Gastelum discusses his plans post UFC 287

“We got the win. Mission accomplished for now,” said Gastelum in his victory-lap video. “I’m back on my feet. This is like I said, the renaissance of K.G. I’m ready to take it to another level. I’m ready to go all the way this time. All the way to the belt.

Maybe a rematch with ‘Izzy,’ who knows? That’s the goal, why not? People want to see that fight. I want to be champion. I’m not just saying that just to say it. I mean that.

So, that’s where I’m working towards. I’m talking to my manager about what the next steps are. We’re looking at maybe International Fight Week, I don’t want to take too much time off. I haven’t fought, so I want to keep getting those cheques.”

Adesanya has a long list of challengers

It seems unlikely that Kelvin Gastelum will be matched up with Adesanya for a rematch anytime soon.

Adesanya headlined last weekend’s card and used that spot to exact vengeance on Alex Pereira. Adesanya had fallen to Pereira on three past occasions (twice by KO or TKO), but earned an emphatic KO victory at UFC 287.

Rounding out the top five of the UFC’s middleweight rankings right now are Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori, Jared Cannonier and Paulo Costa (all of whom have losses to Adesanya). The only fighters in the top ten who have not lost to Adesanya are Dricus Du Plessis, Sean Strickland, Roman Dolidze and Jack Hermansson.

Gastelum is currently ranked eleventh in the division.

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About the author
Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

Tim is also BE's lead (only) sumo reporter. He blogs about that sport here and on his own substack, Sumo Stomp!

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