Kelvin Gastelum Looking To Be Backup Fighter For Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa


Kelvin Gastelum is hoping to be the backup for the upcoming Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa fight.

Gastelum finally returned to the win column after a unanimous decision victory over Ian Heinisch on the UFC 258 main card last night. It snapped a three-fight losing streak for the former interim title challenger as he earned his first victory in nearly three years.

Now, he’s looking to get back into title contention.

First, he has to talk to his team, management and UFC president Dana White to see what options are next for him. But when it comes to his personal preference, he would like to be the backup for the Whittaker vs. Costa fight.

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“I’ll have to go back and talk to my team, talk to my management, talk to Dana (White), and see what the options are from here,” Gastelum said at the UFC 258 post-fight press conference (via MMA News). “I did mention if anyone steps out in the Robert Whittaker-Paulo Costa fight, I’d be willing to step up if something happens to either one of those fighters.”

The Whittaker vs. Costa fight is currently slated for April 17 with the winner expected to challenge Israel Adesanya for the title next.

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However, according to Ariel Helwani, that fight could be moved up to April 10.

“Gastelum says he would like to be the backup option if Robert Whittaker or Paulo Costa have to withdraw from their April bout. That one is currently slated for April 17, however, there was talk this week, sources say, of moving it to April 10. No final decision yet, I’m told.”

Regardless, the timeline works for Gastelum who took little damage in his fight with Heinisch.

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Do you think Gastelum should be the backup for that fight?

Experienced freelance sports writer covering mixed martial arts (MMA) extensively for the last few years. Likes a good body shot.