Kelvin Gastelum envisions a title fight for the winner of his upcoming fight.
Gastelum steps in on short notice to take on former champion Robert Whittaker in a middleweight headliner at the UFC Vegas 24 event taking place Saturday night.
It’s a fight that is over two years in the making after their initial UFC 232 meeting in February 2019 was scrapped after Whittaker had to pull out just hours before the fight.
And although he only just returned to the win column against Ian Heinisch in February to snap a three-fight losing streak, Gastelum believes the winner of this upcoming fight will face middleweight king Israel Adesanya next.
“I think the winner of this fight gets the ‘Izzy’ rematch,” Gastelum told reporters (via MMA Junkie) during media day on Wednesday.
While it would certainly be the case if Whittaker wins, one would imagine Gastelum requires at least one more win to get a title shot. However, a win in what he feels can only be an exciting fight may well be enough.
“Two guys that are that are entering their prime,” Gastelum explained. “Where he’s highly skilled, I believe I have the skills to match it or be even better, so the fight fans are in for a nice, nice fight you know, and that’s why I’ve always liked this fight, is just because I think the styles mesh up really well, and it’s going to be a really exciting fight.”
A win would arguably be Gastelum’s biggest of his career. That said, what he really wants is the title — especially earning it by getting revenge on Adesanya following their epic five-round war at UFC 236 back in April 2019.
“I get the win, I get my hand raised, and I get the the chance to fight for the title next,” Gastelum added.