Kelvin Gastelum is making a return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship in the welterweight division. It’s going to be a tough fight he’s not going to want to miss. He’s going to face off against former Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder, Sean Brady in a UFC on ESPN 52 showcase. Gastelum is stepping back into the spotlight, ready to prove himself again after losing five of his last seven bouts. His track record his last fight at UFC 287 definitely helped his confidence. He managed to outpoint Chris Curtis to a unanimous decision in a closely-watched three-round showdown on April 8. One can only hope he’ll bring the same level of preparation and intensity to this fight.
When it comes to Gastelum, there are a few defining moments that can’t go without mention. Let’s start with the time he became a standout contender in “The Ultimate Fighter 17” Finale in 2013. He managed to edge out a split decision against Uriah Hall. Talk about changing from an underdog to a respected option overnight. He was commended for his aggression, accomplished takedowns, and standup fighting tactics. Not only all that, he seemed unfazed by Hall’s punches and kicks, a testament to his resilience.
But, just like every other, Gastelum also had his rough patches. One such moment was when he faced Neil Magny, another “Ultimate Fighter” semifinalist back in 2015. Unfortunately, our man lost by a hairbreadth split decision in the UFC Fight Night 78 headline. The match was a nail-biter with both fighters, refusing to back down. This tussle went back and forth, with Magny controlling the early stages. Gastelum didn’t take the hits lying down; however, he put up a commendable fight, flooring Magny twice. Unfortunately, it wasn’t sufficient to turn the tide in his favor.
Gastelum’s prowess was on full display when he took down former Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder, Michael Bisping in 2017, proving that he’s not one to be underestimated. His swift moves saw him knocking Bisping down in a mere 2:30 into the first round of their UFC Fight Night 122 main event in Shanghai. This encounter was short but brutal and evidently showcased Gastelum’s lethal skills.
Another significant moment was when the ‘stock in Gastelum’ soared high onto an all-time high in 2018. He pushed out a split decision against former Strikeforce champion, Ronaldo Souza, at UFC 224. The fight was closely contested, showing Gastelum’s tactical brilliance, resilience, and unyielding determination. His career faced a setback when he lost to Israel Adesanya during the UFC 236 co-main event in 2019. Despite the setback, the fight highlighted Gastelum’s fighting spirit when he refused to back down, regardless of the punishment he was taking.