TUF 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum looked confident in beating season favorite Uriah Hall in the season’s finals, and looked even better in his UFC debut. Gastelum submitted Brian Melancon in his Welterweight/promotional debut, taking just two and a half minutes to wrap up the BJJ purple belt and sink in a tight choke.
With the win, Gastelum moves to 7-0 as a pro (11-0 if you count TUF fights) and will look to take a step up in competition in his next outing. 16-3 Court McGee will be Gastelum’s next opponent, as confirmed by UFC officials/Fox.
McGee is also a former TUF winner, claiming season 11 of the series by submitting Kris McCray. McGee has since gone on to compile a 16-3 record overall, 4-2 within the UFC. An appropriate match for Gastelum? I actually think so.
McGee is a tough fighter, has never been finished and has finished 10 of his 16 wins. Although Gastelum is unbeaten, he is young and needs to take a steady step up in competition. It’s ironic that we sit here now talking about Gastelum’s bright future in MMA, when just months ago some of us were hailing Uriah Hall as the second coming of Bruce Lee.
Fans may have expected to see Gastelum face a slightly higher ranked opponent, especially after his impressive showing in August, but the UFC may have big plans for KG. He needs time to grow as a fighter, and throwing him in with someone near the top 10 right now would be way too soon.
He needs to be tested and McGee is the right guy to do that at the minute. I personally think that Gastelum could have a great future in the UFC; he is young, talented and hard working.
UFC on Fox 9 will play host to Gastelum vs. McGee, who will fight on the undercard of the UFC Lightweight championship bout between Anthony Pettis and Josh Thomson.