Kelvin Gastelum is back in action this weekend at UFC 224, facing former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Ronaldo Souza in the co-main event of the evening.
Even though the fighter is heading into enemy territory, a hopeful Gastelum believes some of the Brazilian fans are going to be on his side.
“I chose to fight in Brazil because I love it here and I wanted to fight here again,” Gastelum said to Combate. “I really enjoyed the experience, the fans gave me a very warm welcome. I think the crowd will be split. I have many Brazilians telling me they are fans of mine, but there’s also some others who say I’m going to die. I think they’ll be divided when the fight starts.”
Gastelum has fought once before in Brazil, which was a no contest against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 106.
The middleweight contender plans on pulling out the win this weekend and he has a game plan to achieve that goal.
“I trained really hard for this fight and I’m ready for whatever might happen,” Gastelum said. “Jacare has knockout power and sharp jiu-jitsu. I think it’ll be a hard fight, but not impossible. I’m ready if it hits the ground and I’m ready if wants to strike. I’ve fought bigger men than him, so that doesn’t really matter to me. It’s simple, I just need to hit him. I think that’s the best gameplan, to try and keep it standing.”
UFC 224 takes place on Saturday, May 12 from the Jeunesse Arena in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.