UFC welterweight contenders Matt Brown and Kelvin Gastelum are set for a November collision at the head of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 finale. Brown is coming off a storming win over ‘Dirty Bird’ Tim Means at UFC 189, and Gastelum is making his return to welterweight after being forced to move up to 185 pounds due to weight cutting issues. ”Mini Cain’ stopped Nate Marquardt at UFC 188 this past June, and UFC president Dana White shortly after announced the young prospect’s return to 170.
It seems there is a lot of belief in the future of The Ultimate Fighter 17 winner, but perhaps much more than we had realized before today. Gastelum spoke to UFC.com by way of Damon Martin of FOX Sports, and revealed the UFC is funding his nutritionist for the upcoming November scrap with ‘The Immortal’:
“I just learn from it and grow from it and continue to progress from it. I’ve done that, I’ve made all the necessary changes. I’m working with a nutritionist now and this time it will be no problem making 170. Dana White called me personally and gave me the fight. He also said that he would be paying for a nutritionist, his name is George Lockhart, so the UFC is putting a lot of interest in this fight,”
“They’re putting their own investment in this fight and it feels good to have that kind of support from the UFC and from Dana White and it shows the level of faith they have in me.”
The promotion clearly is playing favorites here, of course they are protecting an interest, but you could argue that a smoother weight cut will give Gastelum an edge of sorts against Brown. His lacklustre performance, albeit in a fight many believe he won, against Tyron Woodley was due to a botched weight cut. If the UFC is upping his game against ‘The Immortal’ by funding his dieting, then the Tweet that Brown sent out in response raises a good point:
— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) September 14, 2015
“What I can control is what I get up and do everyday,” Brown said. “What he does is his own business and whether he’s 190 pounds or whether he’s on point at 170, I’m going to fight him on November 21 and I’m going to whoop his ass either way.”
Is this a clear cut conflict of interests? Win or lose, Matt Brown comes to fight, but with the UFC literally funding his opponent’s nutrition, could he be up against it with Kelvin Gastelum?