The TUF champion admits that there were some mental struggles ahead of the event, especially after the middleweight title bout against Robert Whittaker at UFC 234 was canceled.
“I was so devastated mentally, physically and everything else,” Gastelum said at the UFC 236 open workouts (via Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie). “I was just drained from everything that had happened. It was hard for me to get re-motivated. It was hard for me to kind of reset my mind, even though we have a very dangerous opponent in front of us. It was just hard for me to get re-motivated. It took a couple weeks for me to just kind of get in that zone.”
Gastelum and Whittaker were supposed to fight in the main event of UFC 234 for the UFC Middleweight Title, but Whittaker was forced off the card due to a severe abdominal issue that lead to surgery.
It would appear that Gastelum got through whatever issues he was dealing with, because the fighter is ready to go on Saturday Night.
“I’m here, we’re doing it, we got over that hump, and I’m feeling 1,000 percent ready for this fight,” Gastelum said.
UFC 236 takes place on Saturday, April 13 from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia with Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.