Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya are scheduled to meet this weekend at UFC 236 and the winner will claim the vacant UFC Interim Middleweight Title.
One thing the fighter is unsure of right now is whether or now Adesanya is qualified to be in such an important fight.
“I don’t think he’s been through the fire that I’ve been through,” Gastelum told MMA Junkie. “Hasn’t fought the quality of opponents that I have. You know, obviously he’s fought some great fighters. But the top five guys are, any one of those top five guys can be the champion, and I don’t think he’s fought those kind of guys.”
Adesanya holds a 5-0-0 record under the UFC banner (16-0-0 overall) and that includes a victory over former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva at UFC 234.
The undefeated Adesanya will come into the fight with a height and reach advantage, but Gastelum says he knows how to deal with such issues.
“I feel like my disadvantage, I’ve kind of learned to make my advantage,” Gastelum said. “My height, I’ve learned to get under guys real easy. I’ve learned how to do that and how to maintain my range despite my limited capabilities.”
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.