After a series of disastrous weight cuts, Kelvin Gastelum was required to fight at middleweight, vs. Tim Kennedy at UFC 206. He won but said he hoped to end up back at welterweight.
“I think if I’m offered a fight that interests me at 185, I don’t see why I wouldn’t stay here,” he said at the post-fight press conference. “But I think 170 is my optimum weight class. … I heard they need another replacement in Brazil with Vitor Belfort, so if they want to make that happen, then I’ll do it. I’m willing to step up and do that as well.”
Gastelum got his wish.
He will fight Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 107, on March 11, 2017, at the Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil. The main will likely air on FOX Sports 1, with the prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
The fight was first reported by Brazil’s Globo. However, it had been rumored and got some confirmation on Tuesday on Belfort’s social network.
Gastelum is on a two-fight win streak, beating Kennedy and before that former welterweight champ Johny Hendricks.
Belfort, 39, had one of the great runs in mixed martial arts history in 2013. He beat future middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, future middleweight champion Michael Bisping, and legend Dan Henderson, all via head kick KO. Then the use of Testosterone Replacement Therapy ended in MMA. The former UFC light heavyweight champion has lost three of his last four since.
In Gastelum Belfort faces an excellent wrestler whose style does not give the Brazilian much room to engage in his favored striking.