Monday, May 14, 2018

Kelvin Gastelum went undefeated in 2016, decisioning former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and TKOing Tim Kennedy in his return to middleweight. Gastelum fought three times in 2017, going 1-1 with 1 NC. The latter was a TKO win over Vitor Belfort that was changed to a No Contest after Gastelum failed a test for the demon weed marijuana. Then he was submitted by former middleweight champ Chris Weidman. And he ended the year knocking out former middleweight champ Michael Bisping.

At UFC 224 on Saturday night Gastelum earned a Split Decision over ‘Jacare’ Souza, winning Fight of the Night. It was his third performance bonus in four fights. At the post-fight press conference, the 26-year-old made his next step plain.

“I definitely feel like a title shot should be next,” said Gastelum, as transcribed by Danny Segura for MMA Fighting. “I don’t think I’d accept any other fight than the title shot. I’m the most active middleweight there has been. All the guys (I’ve beat) are top-10 and former champions, so I feel like I deserve it.”

The current title holder is Robert Whittaker, who defends his belt vs. Yoel Romero at UFC 225: Whittaker vs. Romero 2 on June 9, 2018, at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. If that fight is delayed for any reason, Gastelum is waiting.

“I definitely feel I deserve the shot,” Gastelum said. “So I definitely feel like I will sit out until my shot is next.”