The main event of UFC 225 was scheduled to be a middleweight title fight between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero. Unfortunately Romero missed weight and the fight was no longer for the title, becoming a five round non-title contest instead.
Gastelum was in Chicago for the show and was initially expected to be the replacement for either man should something go wrong. Of course, that never happened and Gastelum watched from cageside instead.
When asked why Gastelum didn’t replace Romero in the fight Dana White angrily said that the former Ultimate Fighter winner has some “personal issues” that he needs to get sorted out.
Speaking on The MMA Hour with Luke Thomas yesterday (Mon. June 25, 2018), Gastelum didn’t seem to know what in the world White could be referring to (via MMA Fighting):
“I was dumbfounded,” Gastelum said. “Because I don’t know where those comments are coming from. I just figured he was upset over me not taking the fight a day-and-a-half before.”
Gastelum noted that there were negotiations to have him be the replacement for the UFC 225 main event should something go wrong, but a deal never came to fruition:
“My manager was negotiating money to get from that,” Gastelum said. “I wasn’t gonna be doing it for free. That fell through. So they told me that’s not happening.”
The UFC apparently contacted Gastelum the Wednesday before the fight about potentially replacing Romero. It seems the promotion already had there doubts about the Cuban making it to the Octagon on fight night.
Gastelum said that he had already been eating in Mexico and consuming alcohol, and was in no shape to fight that week. He also said he weighed around 200 and 205 pounds at that point and would not have been able to make 185 pounds in a healthy manner:
“I looked down at my belly and I’m like, ‘No, I don’t think I can do this in a day and a half,’” Gastelum said. … “In a day and a half’s notice while I’ve been out drinking and eating, I probably would have been in the hospital if I would have tried that.”
In regards to White’s comments about him after the event, Gastelum would like to sit down with the UFC boss and get to the bottom of it:
“I would love to sit down and see what those comments are about,” Gastelum said. “I just haven’t reached out to him about it. Eventually, I want to sit down with him and talk to him and meet with him and see what the future holds.”
What are your thoughts about Gastelum’s comments regarding UFC 225 fight week? Sound off in the comments!