Kelvin Gastelum will make his return to the Octagon this weekend when he fights Ronaldo Souza at UFC 224.
The 26-year old is riding high on confidence after his huge win over Michael Bisping at UFC Shanghai while Souza is also coming into UFC 224 on the back of a big win against Derek Brunson.
Positioned strongly in the middleweight division, both Gastelum and Souza will have one eye on the Middleweight championship when they step into the cage this weekend in Rio and Gastelum is adamant of this fact.
Kelvin Gastelum: I think we are in the same position, I think the winner of this one should get a shot at the title.
While UFC 224 will mostly decide the new number one contender for the Middleweight championship, UFC 225 will see Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero lock horns for the title. Even though Gastelum is excited about the prospect of a stylistic showdown with Whittaker, he thinks that Romero would end up winning the title.
Kelvin Gastelum: I just feel because of the styles, me and Robert Whittaker would be a good match up, an exciting match-up but I feel Yoel could probably take this next fight.
The talks about Nick Diaz and Mike Perry
Apart from the prospect of fighting for the title, two names linked with Gastelum are Nick Diaz and Mike Perry. Nick was cleared to fight recently after his USADA chapter and a portion of the fans pitched the idea of Nick vs. Gastelum considering the streak that Gastelum has against veteran fighters. As for Mike Perry, it was more of a personal issue as he was seen trading shots with Gastelum on social media.
The dynamics with both these fighters are different for Gastelum and this reflects in his approach to them as well.
Kelvin Gastelum: I don’t want to talk about Mike Perry. Nick has always been a fighter that I look up to and it would be an honour to fight him.
But first, Gastelum has to take care of Souza and he said that he will be looking for a finish at UFC 224.
Kelvin Gastelum: I take this as a challenge and every challenge is an opportunity to grow and I am excited for this fight. I am always hoping for a finish, I always go in there looking for the finish. I don’t like fighting for a decision.
UFC 224 will be headlined by the Women’s Bantamweight championship fight between Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington and it will be live and exclusive on the SONY ESPN channels.