After his loss at UFC Vegas 24, where does Kelvin Gastelum go from here?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 24, Kelvin Gastelum (16-7, 1 NC) had a golden opportunity. Entering 2021, Gastelum was not looking great in terms of being a top contender at middleweight.

The former interim title challenger had lost three fights in a row heading into 2021. Gastelum was scheduled to take on Ian Heinisch earlier this year and it was a fight that was pivotal for Gastelum moving forward.

The two fought at UFC 258 and Gastelum went back to his wrestling roots to snap his losing streak. With taking no damage in the Heinisch fight, Gastelum told the UFC that he would be ready to fill in if someone fell out of the upcoming middleweight main events.

Robert Whittaker (23-5) was set to headline UFC Vegas 24 against Paulo Costa. However, Costa ended up sick and had to pull out of the fight due to his inability to train. With that, Gastelum volunteered to step in.

Originally, Gastelum was supposed to face Whittaker at UFC 234 for the middleweight title. However, Whittaker had to pull out of that fight after having to undergo emergency surgery the day of the fight. If Gastelum was able to pull off a victory, he would’ve been right back in title contention.

However, that didn’t happen at UFC Vegas 24. Gastelum did have moments where he hit Whittaker clean, but overall he was a step behind all night. Whittaker rocked him a couple of times and ended up with a clean sweep on the judges scorecards.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 24?

With this loss at UFC Vegas 24, Gastelum is just 1-4 in his last five fights. A couple of years ago, Gastelum looked like he could be a middleweight champion, but it’s really hard to imagine that scenario now.

So where does Kelvin Gastelum go from here? Well, I personally would love to see Gastelum attempt to cut back to 170 pounds. I truly believe that if he did it the right way, Gastelum could be a force in the UFC’s welterweight division.

However, I don’t believe that’s likely. In looking at the middleweight division, I think a perfect next opponent would be Kevin Holland (21-7). Holland was 5-0 in 2020, but has come back down to earth in 2021 with headlining losses to Marvin Vettori and Derek Brunson.

Still, The Trailblazer is still ranked 12th at middleweight. He’s talked about moving to welterweight as well, but if he stays at 185 pounds, I think he would be the perfect opponent for Gastelum’s next UFC fight.

After dominant win at UFC Vegas 24, what’s next for Robert Whittaker?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 24, Robert Whittaker (23-5) and Kelvin Gastelum (16-7, 1 NC) headlined the card. This fight was two years in the making after their first fight fell through at UFC 234.

Whittaker and Gastelum coached opposite each other on The Ultimate Fighter and were set to fight for the middleweight title. However, the morning of UFC 234, Whittaker had to have emergency surgery and the fight was called off.

Two years later, the two men finally met inside the octagon. In a pure striking match, I figured Whittaker would have the advantage. Outside of the middleweight champion, it’s hard to defeat Robert Whittaker on the feet with his diverse attack and speed.

Gastelum was just a step behind at UFC Vegas 24. He would hit Whittaker throughout the evening, but for the most part, he was getting touched up by the former champion. Bobby Knuckles noticeably wobbled Gastelum on a couple of occasions.

On a night where most of the fights were slow at UFC Vegas 24, this one delivered. These two stood and traded all night, but as mentioned, Whittaker always got the best of it and the former champion walked away with a clean sweep on the scorecards.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 24?

After UFC Vegas 24, there is only one fight for Robert Whittaker. That fight would be a rematch with the current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (20-1). There is nothing left for Whittaker to prove.

Whittaker was knocked out by Adesanya at UFC 243 in 2019. It was the first and still is the only loss Whittaker has ever suffered at middleweight. Adesanya expressed interest in fighting Darren Till and Jared Cannonier in 2020.

Well, Whittaker took both of them out. Now, after a dominant win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24, Bobby Knuckles has won three straight. It’s time that the UFC puts together a rematch and perhaps they could do it in Australia or New Zealand again in front of a packed house.

UFC Vegas 24 Preview: Robert Whittaker – Kelvin Gastelum

In the main event of UFC Vegas 24, we are going to see a pivotal matchup in the middleweight division. Former champion Robert Whittaker (22-5) is back as he takes on former interim title challenger Kelvin Gastelum (16-6, 1 NC).

Originally, these two were supposed to face each other at UFC 234 in 2019 for the middleweight title. The two coached against each other on The Ultimate Fighter and they were set to headline a PPV in Australia.

However, the night before the fight, Whittaker had to be rushed to the hospital with stomach issues. An emergency procedure kept Bobby Knuckles out of the title fight and Gastelum never got his shot at the UFC title.

Instead, Gastelum ended up facing Israel Adesanya a couple of months later for the interim title. Gastelum lost that fight and that started a three-fight losing streak for Gastelum inside the octagon.

However, at UFC 258 Gastelum got back on track with a win over Ian Heinisch. After Paulo Costa got sick and fell out of this main event slot against Whittaker, Gastelum jumped at the opportunity to try and get right back into title contention.

Bobby Knuckles lost his UFC middleweight title to Israel Adesanya. Since that loss, he’s taken out the top two contenders that Adesanya wanted to face. He defeated Darren Till and Jared Cannonier. If Whittaker wins at UFC Vegas 24, it’s hard to deny him of a rematch with Adesanya.

UFC Vegas 24 Preview

I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow night’s UFC main event. Again, this is a fight that is a couple of years in the making and I expect fireworks between the two middleweights tomorrow night.

One big key for me is going to be the kicks of Robert Whittaker. Both men have incredible fast hands, but it’s the kicks of the former UFC champion that could play a huge factor in tomorrow night’s outcome.

I also want to see if Gastelum can land any takedowns or if he can get any control along the fence. I believe he’s going to need to use some of his grappling skills if he wants to beat Whittaker tomorrow night.

Ultimately, I just don’t see Gastelum beating Whittaker. I love the overall game of the former middleweight champion and I think he’s going to get it done. Not just that, I think he becomes the first man to stop Gastelum via strikes at UFC Vegas 24.

Prediction: Robert Whittaker by TKO – Round 3

UFC: Kelvin Gastelum steps in to face Robert Whittaker on April 17th

Earlier today, we learned that the UFC‘s main event on April 17th had lost one of it’s headliners. Paulo Costa (13-1) came down with the flu and as a result he couldn’t train for his upcoming main event slot against Robert Whittaker (22-5).

As a result, Costa had to pull out of the fight. The UFC was thinking about potentially moving the fight back, but with the uncertainty of Costa’s condition, they decided to move on to try and find a replacement.

Former interim title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum (16-6, 1 NC) immediately volunteered. Gastelum just defeated Ian Heinisch back at UFC 258 and after the win, he said he’d stay ready in order to step in for one of the upcoming middleweight main events.

Sure enough, Costa fell out and a replacement was needed. The UFC contacted Gastelum and the sides came to an agreement. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this evening that the promotion had finalized the deal for Gastelum to step in.

UFC title fight we never saw

Many will remember that this isn’t the first time the UFC has paired these two against each other. Originally, these two were supposed to fight in Australia back in 2019 with the UFC middleweight title on the line.

The day of the fight, Whittaker had to pull out of the fight. Whittaker had to have emergency surgery and was on the sidelines for a while. Gastelum ended up fighting Israel Adesanya for the interim title and came up short.

Adesanya of course would then go on to defeat Robert Whittaker for the undisputed title. We never got to see these two compete for the UFC title. However, now we are going to see them compete in a UFC main event. Whoever wins this matchup is going to put themselves in a great position to be the next challenger.

After snapping losing streak at UFC 258, what’s next for Kelvin Gastelum?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Kelvin Gastelum (16-6) was fighting with his back against the wall. The former interim title challenger had lost three fights in a row leading up to UFC 258. Gastelum had a hungry Ian Heinisch (14-4) in front of him, ready to take his spot.

Heinisch has a lot of promise, however, he hasn’t been able to break through against top competition in the UFC. He was hoping to get that done against Kelvin Gastelum. However, Gastelum showed the world on Saturday night that he’s far from done.

From the opening bell, it felt that Kelvin Gastelum was in control on Saturday night. Heinisch was supposed to have the wrestling advantage, but it was actually Kelvin Gastelum who was winning the grappling exchanges.

Heinisch had moments in going for submissions, but nothing was ever close. Gastelum dropped the final round, but with the first two rounds in the bag, it didn’t matter. An emotional Gastelum saw his hand raised for the first time in a few years. So what does the UFC do with him next?

What’s next after UFC 258?

The middleweight division is in a very interesting spot at the moment. Currently, nine of the top 12 UFC middleweights in the world are booked for their next fight. One of those being Gastelum and another being the champion, Israel Adesanya.

The other middleweight who is not booked is an interesting opponent for Gastelum. That opponent would be the third ranked middleweight in the UFC, Jared Cannonier (13-5). Cannonier just suffered his first loss at middleweight back at UFC 254.

Had Cannonier won that fight, he would have earned the next title shot. However, he fell short against Robert Whittaker. Cannonier has been recovering from an injury, but this is the perfect matchup to make.

Cannonier needs a top opponent upon his return, and Gastelum would like to get someone in or around the UFC’s top five. To me, it seems like a perfect matchup for both. However, I would expect Gastelum stays ready in case someone falls out of the upcoming matchups over the next two months.

After setback at UFC 258, what’s next for Ian Heinisch?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Ian Heinisch (14-4) had arguably the biggest fight of his career against Kelvin Gastelum (16-6). Gastelum is a former title challenger and he was in the top 10 in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

A win for Ian Heinisch would have sent him into the top ten and one step closer to achieving his dream. Gastelum entered the fight on a three-fight losing streak and he felt like his job was on the line.

When the fight started, both men were fighting with urgency. Gastelum was putting pressure on Heinisch and Heinisch was looking for the finish. In the first round, Heinisch attempted multiple submissions to try and get the victory.

However, nothing locked in fully. Heinisch used a ton of energy in the first round trying to get Gastelum out of there and he couldn’t do it. As the fight went on, it appeared that Heinisch was feeling the exhaustion of the moment at UFC 258.

For the most part, Kelvin Gastelum completely controlled the fight from start to finish on Saturday night. In the end, the judges unanimously gave the fight to Gastelum which ended his losing streak. Heinisch will now have to go back to the drawing board after UFC 258.

What’s next after UFC 258?

I’m very confident in saying that Ian Heinisch deserved to be in that spot at UFC 258. Heinisch does have a lot of potential, but we’ve seen him stumble against competition that ranks inside the top fifteen.

So far, Heinisch has taken on three fighters ranked in the UFC. He’s 0-3 in those matchups. For his next fight, he needs to take on someone outside of the rankings and I think there’s an opponent that is perfect for him.

The guy that Ian Heinisch needs to fight next is Brendan Allen (15-4). First and foremost, this fight was supposed to happen multiple times and it kept falling through. These two are not fans of each other and this fight needs to happen.

Not too mention the fact that these two are fringe top fifteen middleweights in the UFC. Both are coming off of a loss and it’s the perfect time to make this fight. I know they’ve tried it a few times, but the promotion needs to put this one together again.

Kelvin Gastelum grinds out decision over Ian Heinisch at UFC 258

A big middleweight matchup was featured on the main card of UFC 258. Former interim title challenger and Ultimate Fighter winner, Kelvin Gastelum (15-6), took on the rising contender, Ian Heinisch (14-3).

This fight was a huge crossroads fight for both men. For Gastelum, he walked to the cage tonight carrying a three-fight losing streak. Just a couple of years ago, Gastelum was looked at as one of the best middleweights in the UFC.

However, many have soured on Gastelum after his last few performances. He needed a win in the worst way tonight, but it wouldn’t be easy. Ian Heinisch is a very promising contender in the middleweight division.

Heinisch was introduced to the UFC fans through Dana White’s Contender Series. Between his skills and his backstory, there is plenty of reason to root for Heinisch. He was looking to pickup the biggest win of his career at UFC 258.

UFC 258 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 258 middleweight contest got underway with a big leg kick for Heinisch. Heinisch then landed another leg kick before shooting in for his first takedown. Gastelum defended well and used a scramble to get back to his feet.

Gastelum pressed Heinisch up against the fence, but Heinisch attacked a kimura. It looked tight, but Gastelum defended well and was able to break the hold. Another scramble saw Gastelum get the back of Heinisch.

Gastelum went for a takedown of his own along the fence, but Heinisch attacked the kimura again. However, Gastelum wound up getting the mount and he broke the hold. Heinisch was able to buck out of the mount and the two went back to striking.

A big leg kick for Gastelum lands and Heinisch was breathing heavy. Gastelum pushed forward then forced a clinch along the fence. Gastelum landed a couple of takedowns, but Heinisch did a good job of getting back up. It’s 1-0 Gastelum after one at UFC 258.

Round 2

Heinisch looked like he was feeling the moment of UFC 258 before the second round started. A lot of deep breaths coming from Heinisch as the action resumed. Gastelum opened the striking with a big leg kick, but Heinisch countered with a big right hand.

Heinisch shot in for a takedown, but Gastelum easily shrugged him off. Heinisch lands a big flying knee but Gastelum just ate it and took Heinisch down. Gastelum worked his way to Heinisch’s back, but Heinisch was able to get back up.

The two resumed striking halfway through the round. Gastelum moved forward with heavy pressure and forced another clinch along the fence. A scramble broke the two up. Heinisch kept looking for a high kick, but it was hitting all arms.

Gastelum shot in for a takedown of his own, but Heinisch defended well. Heinisch was breathing very heavy as he march forward. A massive body kick lands for Heinisch. Just before the round ended, Gastelum forced another clinch along the fence. 2-0 Gastelum at UFC 258.

Round 3

Heading into the final round at UFC 258 and Ian Heinisch is going to need a finish in this one. Gastelum opened the striking with a leg kick. Heinisch steps forward with a big elbow that lands clean. He followed it with a takedown, but Gastelum forced a scramble to get back up.

Heinisch kept looking for big kicks in the third round. Gastelum steps forward with a beautiful combination and Heinisch backed up to the fence. After a quick reset, Heinisch launched with another flying knee.

However, just like in the second round, Gastelum used that to get a takedown. Heinisch hits a beautiful reversal and gets the back of Kelvin Gastelum. He’s got the hooks in and he started looking for the choke.

Heinisch tried to get the front mount, but Gastelum countered well and got back to his feet. A big left hand lands for Gastelum and Heinisch shoots in for a takedown. Both men looked fatigued in the final seconds. Heinisch gets another takedown, but can’t keep Gastelum there.

Gastelum gets back up and lands a takedown of his own as the bell sounds. The last round was close, but Kelvin Gastelum should get the decision at UFC 258.

Kevin Gastelum def. Ian Heinisch by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC 258 Preview: Kelvin Gastelum – Ian Heinisch

A big matchup in the middleweight division goes down tomorrow night at UFC 258. Former title challenger and Ultimate Fighter winner, Kelvin Gastelum (15-6), will be taking on Ian Heinisch (14-3).

Both men will make the walk at UFC 258 with a ranking by their name. For Ian Heinisch, he’s coming in at 15th. Heinisch was first introduced to the fans on Dana White’s Contender Series back in 2018.

The Hurricane earned himself a UFC contract with a knockout victory. From there, he would go on to have two impressive wins inside the octagon. That’s when the UFC gave him Derek Brunson. Brunson was able to show that Heinisch still had a ways to go in his career.

After Heinisch lost to Brunson, he dropped a fight to Omari Akhmedov. Heinisch decided to take some time before his next fight and really focus on his standup. It showed in his last fight when he knocked out Gerald Meerschaert. However, he is taking another big step up in competition at UFC 258.

Entering 2019, Kelvin Gastelum was looked at as one of the best middleweights in the UFC. He was actually set to take on Robert Whittaker for the title before Whittaker had to be out for a significant amount of time. Gastelum ended up fighting Israel Adesanya for the interim title.

While Adesanya won, Gastelum looked very good and gave Izzy the fight of his life. However, after that fight, Gastelum has lost back-to-back fights. He’s in desperate need of a win tomorrow to avoid his fourth straight loss in the UFC.

UFC 258 Prediction

This matchup at UFC 258 is truly a crossroads matchup. In this fight, Gastelum will either get back on track or Heinisch will continue to ascend in the middleweight division. This fight has big implications for the division.

For Kelvin Gastelum, I think he needs to keep the fight at range tomorrow night. When Gastelum is on, we’ve seen him show off incredible striking and footwork. His boxing is extremely crisp when he’s on. He also has dynamite in his hands.

Heinisch needs to mix things up tomorrow to be successful. He needs to really work the low leg kicks and mix in some takedown attempts to keep Gastelum guessing. If Heinisch is able to take Gastelum down, he needs to keep wrestling him to win at UFC 258.

While many people are down on Kelvin Gastelum, I still believe he can be one of the best in the world. I think he’s going to have that turnaround performance he needs tomorrow. I’m expecting him to be sharp and land what’s needed to end his UFC losing streak.

Prediction: Kelvin Gastelum by Unanimous Decision

UFC booking Kelvin Gastelum – Ian Heinisch

The UFC is close to finalizing another exciting fight for their card on January 30th. Earlier today, it was reported that the promotion was booking Carlos Condit against Matt Brown. Now, the promotion is finalizing an exciting middleweight contest.

First reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the UFC is finalizing a middleweight contest between Kelvin Gastelum (15-6, 1 NC) and Ian Heinisch (14-3). Both of these fighters are ranked in the UFC‘s top 15.

Heinisch was actually scheduled to fight last week against Brendan Allen. However, that fight fell apart at the last minute when Heinisch tested positive for COVID-19. It was the second time that fights been scrapped.

It appears that the promotion has moved on from that fight. Now, Heinisch will get the highest profiled fight of his career in taking on former title challenger and Ultimate Fighter winner, Kelvin Gastelum.

UFC January 30th

When the calendar turned to 2019, Kelvin Gastelum was looked at as one of the best in the middleweight division. Gastelum had picked up two wins in a row against Jacare Souza and former UFC middleweight champion, Michael Bisping.

Gastelum got a shot at the interim UFC title against now champion, Israel Adesanya. He pushed Adesanya like he’d never been pushed before. The fight was an absolute war, but in the end, Adesanya walked away with his hand raised.

Since that fight, it’s been back-to-back lackluster fights for Gastelum. He fought and lost to Darren Till at UFC 244 in a fight that left much to be desired. Then back on Fight Island, Gastelum was submitted by Jack Hermansson in 78 seconds.

This fight is a big chance for him to turn things around. Heinisch is going to be a very motivated contender going in there on January 30th and if Gastelum can turn him away, it’ll say a lot about his position in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

It’s clear that the UFC is building a helluva card on January 30th. The two fight announcements today have both been bangers, and I’m excited to see how the rest of the card fills out.

UFC: Where does Kelvin Gastelum go from here?

Entering 2019, many people believed that Kelvin Gastelum (15-6, 1 NC) was near the top of the UFC‘s middleweight division.

Gastelum came into the year coming off of a knockout win over former champion Michael Bisping, and a win over Jacare Souza. Those wins led him to getting a interim title shot against Israel Adesanya.

The fight back at UFC 236 was an instant classic. Both men had big moments in the fight. Gastelum became the first man inside the UFC to make Adesanya look vulnerable.

In the final round of the fight, Adesanya made it clear that he was the better man. Gastelum fell in that fight, but his stock actually rose.

A fall from the top of the UFC’s middleweight division

Now we fast forward to our present time, and nobody believes that Gastelum is at the top of the UFC‘s middleweight division. After last Saturday, Gastelum is now 0-3 in his last three fights in the division.

Gastelum lost his fight to Adesanya then took on middleweight newcomer and former UFC welterweight title challenger, Darren Till.  Despite a split decision, I thought it was clear Till won the fight unanimously.

Gastelum took eight months off before showing up on Fight Island to fight Jack Hermansson. Gastelum talked about his mental struggles, but was confident he would dominate Hermansson. Hermansson went on to submit Gastelum in 78 seconds.

Gastelum is just getting ready to turn 29-years old, but where does he go from here? Gastelum is naturally a welterweight, but struggled mightily to make weight at 170.

After missing weight multiple times, Dana White forced Gastelum to move up. While his middleweight career started out well, he’s now just 3-4, 1 NC in the division.

I really think that Gastelum should evaluate what he wants to do moving forward. I think he could be one of the best welterweights in the world if he could show a little more discipline.

If Gastelum decides to stay in the UFC middleweight division, I’m not sure where he goes from here. Maybe he fights the loser of the Edmen Shahbazyan/Derek Brunson fight next? If not that, he’s going to have to take someone near the bottom of the top 15. Gastelum really needs to take a step back and evaluate the next steps in his career.