Kelvin Gastelum believes he’s the right choice for a title opportunity against Robert Whittaker.
This past Saturday night (June 9), Whittaker took on Yoel Romero in a non-title five-round bout. The bout wasn’t contested for Whittaker’s title due to Romero missing weight. The two engaged in a war that saw Whittaker narrowly escape with a split decision win.
Before the bout, many already wondered who would be next in line for the winner. The two names that constantly pop up are Gastelum and Chris Weidman. Gastelum is coming off a split decision win over Jacare Souza. Weidman’s last bout was a submission win over Gastelum, but he’s been recovering from surgeries on his thumb.
During a recent media scrum, Gastelum made the case for a middleweight title shot:
“I’m one of the most active middleweights fighting in the the top 10 among middleweights worldwide. I’ve been winning. I mean, I lost one against Weidman but out of my last six I’ve won five not counting the no-contest.”
Since moving back up to middleweight, Gastelum has gone 3-1, 1 NC. The one no-contest was initially a TKO win for Gastelum over Vitor Belfort. The decision was reversed when Gastelum failed a drug test for marijuana. His victories in that span were over Michael Bisping, Tim Kennedy, and Souza.
Gastelum is currently the fourth-ranked UFC middleweight. He falls behind Weidman, Luke Rockhold, and Romero. After less than ideal weight cuts, both Rockhold and Romero may be headed to the light heavyweight division. If that were the case today, Gastelum would be at the number two spot, while Weidman would hold the number one position.
Do you think Kelvin Gastelum deserves a shot at the UFC middleweight title?