Kelvin Gastelum Gets Wish, Meets Anderson Silva at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro

By Tristen Critchfield Mar 14, 2017


Kelvin Gastelum asked, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship delivered.

The Las Vegas-based promotion announced Tuesday that Gastelum will face former middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro on June 3. “The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner requested a pairing with “The Spider” shortly after his first-round technical knockout victory over Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 106 this past Saturday.

“I want the big fights,” Gastelum said at the post-fight press conference. “It’s just that Anderson is a guy that I respect a lot and one of the greatest of all time. Those are the kinds of fighters that I want to fight.”

Gastelum, who also stated that he wouldn’t be opposed to taking a No. 1 contender bout at 170 pounds, has won his last three fights, besting Belfort and Tim Kennedy at middleweight and Johny Hendricks at 170 pounds.

Silva ended a five-fight winless streak in his most recent appearance, as he took a somewhat contentious unanimous verdict over Derek Brunson at UFC 208 on Feb. 11. The 41-year-old is ranked No. 7 — three spots above Gastelum — in the UFC.com middleweight rankings.

UFC 212 takes place at HSBC Arena and is headlined by a featherweight championship clash between Jose Aldo and Max Holloway.

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