The “furthest [thing] from confident”.
This is what the UFC president, Dana White has told a post-fight conference about his thoughts if it is possible for Kelvin Gastelum to cut down his weight to 170 pounds.
In less than two months later, it was announced by the UFC that Gastelum (11-1) will face Matt Brown in the octagon as the main event of the UFC Fight Night, happening on November 21. The match is expected to have the fighters at 170 pounds.
Well, what was the change? As per mixed martial arts athlete Gastelum, he and White talked over the phone and UFC fighter has promised to hire a full-time nutritionist to reach the target weight for him to be booked for a welterweight match.
During Gastelum’s interview, he said:
“I asked for the fight against Matt Brown. At first, [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva told me no. A couple weeks later, Dana called. He actually gave me the fight I wanted against Matt Brown in Monterrey and told me, ‘You better make 170.’ I said, ‘Send me the contract right now, I promise I won’t let you down.'”
Seeking for a nutrition expert, the fighter picked the services of George Lockhart to assist him as he returns to welterweight.
Even if Gastelum showed strong at middleweight, he always looked forward to competing at MMA welterweight, but there were several issues with his weight as he faced different battles in welterweight.
“I hadn’t proven, to that point, that I would be willing to cut to 170, so I think [White] was right. He did kind of a punch to the face [with his comments], but that’s fine. Sometimes you need that. It has taken me a while to learn the process of how nutrition and dieting works. I’ve learned from mistakes. I’ve grown from it. Now, I need to apply it.”
If the UFC fighter can successfully reduce his weight at 170 pounds, he has a bright future competing in this weight class. In November of last year, Gastelum submitted Jake Ellenberger and two months later, he came a bit short in a split-decision loss to Woodley.
His fight against Brown (20-13) is something to look forward to since this is going to be an action fight. Brown won three out of the six fights when he appeared at the fight night.
“You pretty much embrace it’s going to be a war. So, that’s what I’m going to prepare for — a 25-minute war. Obviously, you want to the win as quickly as possible but I know that’s not the case with Matt Brown. He has fought the best in the world. He’s one of the best in the world. I feel like I’ve gained experience, I’ve made mistakes and grown from them and I feel now it’s my time to really make a run.
“[I asked for Brown] both because of his rank and style. I think our styles mesh up real good — kind of a [Robbie] Lawler vs. [Rory] MacDonald fight. That’s what I envision in my head,” Gastelum added.