Kelvin Gastelum Confident a Title Shot Looms if He Can Knock ‘Jacare’ Out at UFC 224

By Nathan Zur May 11, 2018

UFC 224 available for order on Amazon Prime (Prime Video PPV)

Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight contenders Kelvin Gastelum and Ronaldo Souza meet this weekend at UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro, with the winner of the fight likely to be given a title fight against the winner of Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero, who square off in July at UFC 225.

Gastelum put on a clinical performance in his last fight, when he knocked out former middleweight champion Michael Bisping in the first round at UFC Shanghai in November. It was a much-needed victory for Gastelum, who was coming off a submission loss to Chris Weidman.

However, with Weidman on the sidelines indefinitely due to a lingering thumb injury, it seems to be the perfect time for Gastelum to showcase himself as a legitimate challenger to the title. He’ll have his hands full this weekend with the grappling ace Souza standing in his way.

Gastelum recently talked to MMAJunkie.com about what he needs to do on Saturday to earn himself a shot at the title:

“I feel like I need to beat him and make a statement. If I don’t make a statement, I don’t think I’ll be able to contend for the title next. But if I go in there and knock him out in the first round, then I have no doubt that the next fight will be for the title.”

Gastelum (14-3, 1 NC) is 1-1 (1 NC) in his last three fights. His TKO win over Belfort was overturned to a no-contest when Gastelum tested positive for marijuana.

Souza (25-1, 1 NC) rebounded from his loss to current champion Whittaker with a vicious knockout of another middleweight contender Derek Brunson in January this year.

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