‘I’m gonna get shredded!’ – No longer ‘undisciplined,’ Kelvin Gastelum announces return to 170 lbs

TUF alum Kelvin Gastelum announces his return to the UFC welterweight division.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 2 weeks ago
‘I’m gonna get shredded!’ – No longer ‘undisciplined,’ Kelvin Gastelum announces return to 170 lbs

TUF 17 alum Kelvin Gastelum is dropping back down to welterweight. The 31-year-old is making this surprising career move despite a previous unsuccessful run at 170, which involved multiple weight misses. 

Gastelum, who holds the number 11 spot at the current middleweight rankings, made the announcement via social media on Thursday afternoon. 

Kelvin Gastelum announces his welterweight return

News about Kelvin Gastelum’s 170-pound return first floated around in April, a move that UFC reportedly agreed to. Now, he’s making it official, while also declaring a future title run. 

“I’m making an official announcement, an official drop down to 170. Expect my next fight to be at 170. I’m gonna get shredded! I hope!” Gastelum said on Twitter. 

“And I think I can make another title run at that weight class. I think I can make it. Why? This time, and why now, and why not before? Like I said, this is a second chance. This is a renaissance in my career. This is a rebirth.”

Gastelum admitted that his previous stint went south because of his own doing. Now, he promises to take on a smarter approach. 

“Before, I was young, I was dumb, I was stupid, undisciplined. But now that I’m older, hopefully, a little bit more mature and smarter. Hopefully!

“Everybody knows, this has been my weight class to go to. But it really just takes me to decide that I want to do it. And now, I decide that I want to do it. And I’m gonna do it.” 

Kelvin Gastelum’s history at welterweight

Right after winning the Ultimate Fighter in 2013 as a middleweight competitor, Gastelum dropped down to welterweight. It was a move that seemed to bear fruit as he won his first two fights against Brian Melancon and Rick Story. 

His weight troubles began in his succeeding fights, first missing weight for his 2014 bout with Nico Musoke, which was turned into a 172-pound catchweight. He missed the mark once again when he faced former champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 183 in 2015, a fight that was later turned into a 180-pound catchweight. 

Gastelum first planned a welterweight return in 2015, ahead of his UFC 188 fight with former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt. He did win impressively via second-round TKO, but as far as the UFC was concerned at the time, 170 pounds was out of the question. 

“I honestly do not believe he can make 170,” UFC president Dana White told the media during the post-fight presser. “He has done nothing to prove he can make 170 pounds, and when he doesn’t make 170 pounds, it’s dangerous and it screws a lot of things up around here.”

Gastelum’s recent UFC run

After significant wins against former champion and Hall of Famer Michael Bisping and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Gastelum’s performance has been on a decline. Since 2019, he’s only won two of his last seven fights. 

Gastelum last competed at UFC 287 against Chris Curtis in early April. He won via decision and a $50K bonus for Fight of the Night, improving to a record of 17-8 (with 1 NC). He entered the contest on a two-fight skid and with a sense of urgency, as he felt at risk of being cut by the promotion.

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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