Kelvin Gastelum’s road to redemption starts at UFC Austin: ‘I lost a small chapter of my career’
Kelvin Gastelum has a lot of people to prove wrong as he makes his return to welterweight later this evening (Sat., Dec. 2, 2023) at UFC Austin live on ESPN/ESPN+ from inside Moody Center in Austin, Texas. Standing in his way will be a hungry contender in Sean Brady.
In the past, Gastelum has done just enough to be a viable contender both at welterweight and middleweight. The former Ultimate Fighter winner has competed at 185 pounds since 2016, but always knew his true home was at 170. Gastelum just couldn’t fully dedicate himself outside of the cage to maintain his weight and give himself the best shot to win in the welterweight division.
Now, with injuries and bad dieting in the rearview, Gastelum is ready to begin the second chapter of his career and prove he’s been reawakened.
“I asked myself, ‘How dedicated do I want to be at this sport?’ I faced some tough questions and some truths that I didn’t like,” Gastelum recently told MMA Junkie. “I asked myself about my dedication, and the part I was missing was my diet.”
Gastelum, who is still just 32 years of age despite being a member of the UFC roster for over a decade, is hoping his new regiment outside of the cage will provide him with the best chance to win a world title. Having dropped the ball over the past few years, Gastelum doesn’t want any regrets when his mixed martial arts (MMA) career comes to a close.
“I went through several years when I was getting injured and fights were falling through,” Gastelum said. “I went through many tough moments. In my opinion, I lost many years due to injury, the knee and mouth surgery, then I fracture my nose. I was able to overcome that and put that behind me.
“Now I feel good, but I also feel I lost years, maybe even a small chapter of my career. … I feel like there’s this window and one day it will fully close, and I don’t want to have any regrets for when that day comes. (Dropping to welterweight) is a decision I made for myself. How dedicated do I want to be at this sport? I want to make sure I did everything to be world champion.”
What do you think, fight fans? Are we going to see a new Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Austin? Will he finally make a push for a UFC title?
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Austin fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ preliminary card bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN/ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET.