“Ultimate Fighter” winner Kelvin Gastelum might be one of the most talented prospects in the welterweight division who just can’t consistently make the cut down to 170 pounds.
Gastelum struggled to get down to the welterweight limit on several occasions and missed the mark all together for two separate fights in the UFC.
Most recently at UFC 183 in January, Gastelum came in a whopping nine pounds over the welterweight limit and following a loss to Tyron Woodley, the promotion pushed him towards a move to fight at 185 pounds instead.
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Gastelum followed instructions and came out with a win in his next fight – a second-round TKO over middleweight stalwart Nate Marquardt — but he’ll once again get the opportunity to fight at welterweight when he faces Matt Brown at UFC Fight Night in Monterrey, Mexico on Nov. 21.
Gastelum still lives with the regret of missing weight on so many occasions that it nearly caused him to switch divisions, but he says the UFC supported him the entire time and he promises there will be no more issues as he gets ready for his next trip to the Octagon.
"I just learn from it and grow from it and continue to progress from it," Gastelum said recently when speaking to UFC.com. "I’ve done that, I’ve made all the necessary changes. I’m working with a nutritionist now and this time it will be no problem making 170."
They’re putting their own investment in this fight and it feels good to have that kind of support from the UFC and from Dana White and it shows the kind of faith they have in me.
— Kelvin Gastelum
Following the weight-cutting debacle earlier this year, UFC president Dana White was the most vocal person about Gastelum moving up a division if he wanted his career with the promotion to continue.
One fight later Gastelum says it was White who personally called him to offer the fight at welterweight against Brown while also making another arrangement to ensure he wasn’t defeated on the scale before he ever had a chance to fight in the cage.
"Dana White called me personally and gave me the fight. He also said that he would be paying for a nutritionist, his name is George Lockhart, so the UFC is putting a lot of interest in this fight," Gastelum stated.
"They’re putting their own investment in this fight, and it feels good to have that kind of support from the UFC and from Dana White and it shows the level of faith they have in me."
As much as Gastelum is excited that the UFC had his back and offered to foot the bill for a nutritionist to help him prepare for main event in Mexico, his opponent wasn’t nearly as amused by the financial assistance being offered by the promotion.
Brown released a message on Twitter on Monday where he wondered if the UFC paying for Gastelum’s preparation was somehow a conflict of interest.
@UFC pays for his nutritionist? Conflict of interest? Gonna need more than chicken and broccoli to beat me anyway. https://t.co/GNPAe2LenQ
It doesn’t appear Brown is amused that the UFC is paying for Gastelum to take care of his weight issues while he is responsible for his own training costs as well as nutrition to get ready for the upcoming five-round bout in Mexico.
Still, the Ohio native appears resolved to fight Gastelum whether he’s over weight, under weight or in the best shape of his life.
"What I can control is what I get up and do every day," Brown said. "What he does is his own business and whether he’s 190 pounds or whether he’s on point at 170, I’m going to fight him on November 21 and I’m going to whoop his ass either way."