After impressive victories over two legends in Michael Bisping and Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, surging Kelvin Gastelum (15-3-1NC MMA, 10-3-1NC UFC) believes he’s next in the line for the title shot.
“I know that he’s been offered the fight against me twice and he has not been wanting to fight me,” Gastelum told Luke Thomas on Monday’s edition ofThe MMA Hour. “And I think that’s for good reason. I think I give him the most difficult time if we step in the cage and I think he knows that. In my opinion, I match up horribly for him.”
Whittaker last fought at UFC 225 last month where he edged out Yoel Romero via a razor thin split decision. Gastelum believes Romero did enough to get the job done that night but is happy by the way things panned out.
“I thought Romero would have been getting the nod, but obviously he didn’t,” Gastelum said. “And selfishly I thought, I was hoping they’d give it to Whittaker. Just because Romero had missed weight, he wouldn’t have been getting the belt and then it just would have created this whole scenario where I’m definitely not getting the next shot. It just wouldn’t be a position where I would be fighting for a title any time soon.”
Another candidate campaigning for the shot is former UFC middleweight champion Chris ‘The All-American’ Weidman. However he has not competed since a year due to injury and therefore Gastelum believes he should be the priority over Weidman.
“I don’t know how he feels he deserves it,” Gastelum said. “He’s been injured, he’s been out, unfortunately. But that’s just the way it goes. He says he’s the most decorated fighter, but that’s in the past, man. We’re talking about now. Active fighters, fighters who are winning fights and fighting in the big fights, they should be rewarded. And that should be me.”
“Chris Weidman thinks that he should get the shot over me?” Gastelum said. “I was ranked ninth when he fought me. He was coming off a three-fight skid. Since we fought, I’ve fought two top-five guys, two former champions.”