It’s safe to say that Kelvin Gastelum’s move to middleweight has gone well, as “The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner has lost just once in six appearances since leaving the welterweight division.
His ascent continued at UFC 224 with a split-decision over Ronaldo Souza, who is consistently among the top contenders in the weight class, in the evening’s co-main event. The victory comes on the heels of a first-round knockout triumph over ex-champion Michael Bisping this past November.
Gastelum, whose 185-pound resume also includes wins over Johny Hendricks, Tim Kennedy as well as a victory over Vitor Belfort that was overturned due to a positive marijuana test, was adamant that his next bout should be for UFC gold.
“I definitely feel like a title shot should be next,” Gastelum said at the UFC 224 post-fight press conference. “I don’t think I’d accept any other fight than a title shot. I’m the most active middleweight there has been. All the guys that I’ve fought are top 10 or former champions, so I feel like I’m deserving.”
Reigning middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is slated to defend his belt in a rematch against Yoel Romero in the UFC 225 headliner on June 9. Even if things go awry and the division is held up – which does tend to happen in the UFC – Gastelum seems intent on waiting until he can fight for the title.
“I’d definitely feel like I deserve the shot, so I definitely feel I will sit out until my shot is next,” he said.