UFC books Kelvin Gastelum – Shavkat Rakhmonov for Mexican Independence Day card

Apr 13, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Kelvin Gastelum (red gloves) runs to the octagon before a bout against Israel Adesanya (not pictured) during UFC 236 at State Farm Arena. Adesanya won by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, Dana White and the UFC broke some news. They officially announced the rematch between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko which was reported last week to be the headliner of the promotion’s card on Mexican Independence Day on September 16th.

Then, Dana White announced the fight the UFC has deemed to be the co-main event. Kelvin Gastelum (18-8) is back at welterweight and he will be taking on the undefeated sensation Shavkat Rakhmonov (17-0). This is Gastelum’s first fight at 170 since UFC 200 against Johny Hendricks.

Gastelum was always undersized at 185 pounds, but he was still able to hold his own against some of the best in the world. He even pushed Israel Adesanya to the limit in their interim title fight. However, he was always best suited for the welterweight division if he could stay disciplined.

After looking better than ever in his win against Chris Curtis back in April, Gastelum is re-focused and dedicated to making the cut to welterweight. The UFC is giving him a sink or swim fight against one of the most dangerous guys in the division.

UFC Fight Night

Shavkat Rakhmonov has slowly been climbing the ranks since he made his UFC debut back in 2020. When he debuted, he was a perfect 12-0 and he’s gone 5-0 since debuting in the octagon. What’s the most impressive about Rakhmonov is the fact that all seventeen of his wins are finishes.

When Gastelum first made the announcement to move to 170, I wrote that a fight with Rakhmonov made a ton of sense for both. For Gastelum, it’s sink or swim. For Rakhmonov, it’s a great next step on his way to potential title contention.

This is a massive fight and a huge one for the welterweight division. Whoever wins this fight is likely only one more win away from securing a shot at the welterweight title.

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