Kelvin Gastelum cleared to fight, wanted Carlos Condit next, but will settle for Rick Story at UFC 171 in Dallas

USA TODAY Sports

Undefeated up-and-comer Kelvin Gastelum is healthy following a PCL injury that recently forced him out of a fight at UFC on FOX 9. He is already cleared to return to mixed martial arts (MMA) action. And he knows who he wants to fight next.

Kelvin Gastelum won The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 in what was at the time a huge upset over Uriah Hall. Since then Gastelum's stock has soared, while his counterpart has cornered himself into a potential "Loser Leaves Town" bout against Chris Leben at UFC 168 later this month.

Gastelum was supposed to fight Court McGee at UFC on Fox 9 last week; however, he injured the post cruciate ligament (PCL) in his left knee and was forced to withdraw from the Welterweight contest.

On the most recent edition of "UFC Tonight," it was revealed that Gastelum will not need surgery to correct the issue. In fact, he has officially been cleared by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) doctors to return to action.

The 22-year-old suddenly finds himself returning to a 170-pound division that is no longer ruled by Georges St-Pierre. With "Rush" vacating the belt, things within the weight class are heading in a new direction, and Gastelum looked to capitalize on this by calling up UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and asking for a fight against Carlos Condit.

Condit, however, is scheduled to fight Tyron Woodley at UFC 171 in Dallas, Texas. And while Gastelum was hoping to jump right into the title mix with a fight against a man, Condit, many thought should fight Johny Hendricks for the vacant belt (instead of Robbie Lawler), the Yuma, Ariz., native now has his sights set on Rick Story.

Story -- fresh off an impressive win over Brian Ebersole at UFC 167 -- also holds victories over Hendricks and Thiago Alves. He would certainly pose a stiff test for Gastelum. Furthermore, both men like to grind out victories and the match-up -- which Gastelum wants to take place at UFC 171 -- could possibly end up being a critical bout that would serve up a fresh contender in the 170-pound "mix."

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