Kelvin Gastelum was recently interviewed on the MMA Hour regarding his life before TUF including the admittance that the ultimate fighter winner nearly quit MMA altogether before seeing an advertisement for the tryouts.
We also get his thoughts on the finale against opponent Uriah Hall and his future aspirations in MMA:
“I was sitting in my office one day, and then I saw the (TUF 17 tryouts) ad and I was like, ‘Hey, I guess I’m going to go and tryout, see what happens.’ Because before that I was struggling. I was about ready to quit MMA for a while, and just get another job because obviously I wasn’t doing well financially. I was like, man, if I don’t make it, it’s going to be a while until I’m back in a cage somewhere. Luckily it worked out all in my favor.”
“People are saying he didn’t perform, and I guess I would have to agree. Mostly because I was putting the pressure on him and actually bringing the fight, which it what a lot of the guys didn’t do. was the guy that brought the fight (on TUF 17) until he stayed stationary the last couple seconds and got caught with that kick. Then the other guys were just scared. I wasn’t scared, I brought the fight to him.”
“I expected it to be a war, which it was, but I expected more flashy stuff and for him to try and keep me away from him. He let me implement my gameplan more than he did his, so obviously it worked out in my favor.”
“I haven’t talked with Dana (White) or Joe (Silva) or anybody, but yeah, that’s what my next move is, or what I want it to be,” Gastelum revealed. “I haven’t really talked to anybody about it yet.
“I am [confident I can make 170.] All my fights have been at 185, but I know that once I get the diet going and my work outs, I’ll be able to make 170 for sure.”
If you’re wondering as I am, why a fighter who just went undefeated with the majority of his wins coming via clean finishes is considering a drop down to Welterweight, then this might help explain it a little.
“Uriah felt real strong, and I wasn’t able to control him like I wanted to and really finish the fight. That was the first fight that I haven’t finished in my career. I’m not a point fighter. I go out there and I try to finish fights, so that’s the only thing. He felt really strong.”
Gastelum also shared his mental preparation and attitude towards walking into the octagon and fighting.
“For me, I go into the fight thinking that’s he’s trying to take something that I got, I’m not going to let him take something that I earned, obviously. That’s my mentality going into the fight. Obviously I like the guy and we had a great friendship during the show, and we trained a lot together, but for 15 minutes I’ve got to make myself believe that I hate him.”
Regardless of the outcome we’ll definitely be seeing both fighters again and I’m sure everyone will be waiting in anticpation for their next fights and ultimately their futures.