Kelvin Gastelum returned to the middleweight division at UFC 206, following several failed weight cuts at welterweight and defeated Tim Kennedy by third round TKO. Even though the TUF champion wants to return to welterweight, he is willing to fight UFC legend Vitor Belfort at middleweight.
“I think if I’m offered a fight that interests me at 185, I don’t see why I wouldn’t stay here, but I think 170 is my optimum weight class,” Gastelum said at the UFC 206 post-fight press conference. “I took this fight as a favor for the UFC. I knew they need a replacement for Rashad Evans, so I stepped in, and I heard they need another replacement in Brazil with Vitor Belfort, so if they want to make that happen, then I’ll do it. I’m willing to step up and do that as well.”
UFC President Dana White has stated that Gastelum will never return to welterweight after so many failed weight cuts, but Gastelum wants one more shot in the division and he believes that he found the solution to his past problems.
“I get too heavy outside of camp – that’s my problem,” Gastelum said. “I like to eat my Mexican food, and it shouldn’t be that way. My whole camp is concentrated on losing the weight that I gained outside of camp. It just shouldn’t be that way. I was able to get away with it the last few fights, but the older I get, the harder it is to cut the weight. I think if I change my lifestyle a little bit and create a better lifestyle and do better with my weight outside of training camp, I think it would be a better benefit.”
Gastelum has fought at middleweight only once before, where he defeated Nate Marquardt back at UFC 188.