Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight contender Kelvin Gastelum seeks a fruitful stay in the 170-pound division of the leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion after being previously banished to Middleweight waters, following a debilitating weight cut prior to UFC 183 last January.
Gastelum won his last Octagon outing over one-time Middleweight title challenger Nate Marquardt at UFC 188 back in June, and now will head back to the 170-pound division for a main event clash at UFC Fight Night 78 tonight (Sat., Nov. 21, 2015) against late-replacement Neil Magny.
Magny, the No. 13-ranked Welterweight in UFC, is well-known for his wrestling ability -- as well as his reach -- and has won eight of his last nine. Still, it's nothing that The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 winner Gastelum hasn't been faced with before.
Gastelum's account of Magny's skill-set (via UFC):
"He's not great anywhere, but he's good everywhere. The only competitions I see in the fight is him using his reach. My lower center of gravity is going to be an advantage in this fight. It's going to be a lot harder for Neil to punch down, rather than punching straight or up. I've fought guys as big as him so I don't think it's anything new to me. This is a great opportunity to fight a guy like Neil Magny, who's a higher-ranked opponent than me. A win over Magny could put me up into the Top 10 of the division. I want to be in the conversation for fighting for a title, or contendership."
The 28-year-old Magny is also a TUF veteran and a threat to finish the fight standing, or on the ground. With three finishes by way of knockout, and one by submission, in UFC, he's a credible opponent as any for Gastelum, who seeks to improve upon his No. 15 ranking in the division.
Las Vegas has remained high on Gastelum, even after he was favored to defeat the destructive Matt Brown, who bowed out of their headliner earlier this month with an injury.
Now it's time to see whether time spent with that shiny, new nutritionist has helped prepare him to step on the scale later this evening.