25-year-old rising contender Kelvin Gastelum has scored back-to-back stoppage victories since moving up to middleweight late last year, although his most recent victory, a TKO win over Vitor Belfort, was changed to a no-contest after Gastelum tested positive for Marijuana.
Nevertheless, Gastelum will take on former champion Chris Weidman in the main event of this weekend’s (July 22, 2017) UFC on FOX 22 from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island.
Speaking on the upcoming bout, Gastelum appeared nothing but confident. He admitted that he feels he hasn’t been given his due credit, but he expects to beat Weidman, and when he does, he’s expecting to be next in line for a title shot:
“People can keep underestimating me all they want and that’s just fine with me,” Gastelum said in a recent interview with Flo Combat. “I’ll keep flying under the radar and once they realize what I can do I’ll be sitting there as champion. It’s funny to me because I keep piecing up these guys I face and still don’t get the credit I deserve. That’s fine with me though because it’s been the story of my career and I’m used to it.”
“I absolutely believe I’ll be the next guy in the title race with a win in this fight and don’t see why that wouldn’t be the case,” Gastelum said. “[Gegard] Mousasi is gone. [Luke] Rockhold is MIA and hasn’t fought for over a year. [Yoel] Romero and [Ronaldo] Jacare are both coming off losses,” he said.
Gastelum may have a point regarding the division’s top contenders, although champion Michael Bisping is expected to meet newly minted interim titleholder Robert Whittaker next. Even though that may be the case, Gastelum is planning on calling for a title shot after his bout with Weidman:
“I’m ready to be next in line and ready for my shot and I’m calling for it as soon as they hand me the mic. I’m ready to get this ball rolling and continue my push up to get that shot.”
Do you expect Gastelum to get by the former champion?