Kelvin Gastelum went from being the last pick on TUF to becoming The Ultimate Fighter #17. The rise is farther still as Gastelum revealed on The MMA Hour - just months before TUF, he wanted to quit MMA.
"I was sitting in my office one day and then I saw the ad ( for the TUF 17 tryouts) and I was like, ‘Hey, I guess I'm going to go and tryout, see what happens.'" said Gastelum. "Because before that I was struggling. I was about ready to quit MMA for a while, and just get another job because obviously I wasn't doing well financially.
"I was like, man, if I don't make it, it's going to be a while until I'm back in a cage somewhere. Luckily it worked out all in my favor."
"People are saying he didn't perform, and I guess I would have to agree. Mostly because I was putting the pressure on him and actually bringing the fight, which is what a lot of the guys didn't do. Adam Cella was the guy that brought the fight (on TUF 17) until he stayed stationary the last couple seconds and got caught with that kick. Then the other guys were just scared. I wasn't scared, I brought the fight to him.
"I expected it to be a war, which it was, but I expected more flashy stuff and for him to try and keep me away from him. He let me implement my gameplan more than he did his, so obviously it worked out in my favor."
Now Gastelum has bigger plans, or, technically, smaller ones.
"I haven't talked with Dana or Joe or anybody, but yeah, that's what my next move is, or what I want it to be," said Gastelum of a drop to welterweight. "I haven't really talked to anybody about it yet.
"All my fights have been at 185, but I know that once I get the diet going and my work outs, I'll be able to make 170 for sure."
"Uriah felt real strong. And I wasn't able to control him like I wanted to and really finish the fight. That was the first fight that I haven't finished in my career. I'm not a point fighter. I go out there and I try to finish fights, so that's the only thing. He felt really strong."
"For me, I go into the fight thinking that's he's trying to take something that I got," Gastelum finished. "I'm not going to let him take something that I earned, obviously. That's my mentality going into the fight. Obviously I like the guy and we had a great friendship during the show, and we trained a lot together, but for 15 minutes I've got to make myself believe that I hate him."
Read entire article...
Related MMA gear from the UG Store