clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC 212: ‘Legend Killer’ Kelvin Gastelum is ‘going to cry’ if Anderson Silva retires after he finishes him

Esther Lin

Kelvin Gastelum steamrolled Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 106 a few weeks ago in the very first round to score his second straight win at Middleweight since moving up a weight class, with his first win coming over Tim Kennedy at UFC 206 last year (see it).

After his win over “The Phenom,” Kelvin asked for and received a fight against former division champion and ex pound-for-pound great, Anderson Silva, which is set to go down at UFC 212 on June 3, 2017 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For the ex-Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winner, it’s all about moving up and fighting the top names in order to join the elite level.

“I expected to win in devastating fashion and I expected a good opponent for my next fight. It’s time for me to jump ship to the elite and I am ready and comfortable to be fighting with the best guys,” Gastelum said during a recent interview on “The MMA Hour.”

While Gastelum is ecstatic he got the Silva fight, he admits he wasn’t expecting to get it so soon ... if at all.

“Yes, I thought it was going to be a problem, I didn’t think he was going to sign it and the next thing I know, he’s posting this video of him signing it. But, all respect to him. I didn’t think he was actually going to take the fight.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to be able to fight him,” Gastelum continued. “He is the greatest of all time and he deserves all of the respect in the world. But, once that cage closes, I expect to have the same results as Vitor, as well.”

Being dubbed “The Legend Killer” after his previous two knockout wins, Gastelum says he doesn’t mind the moniker as long as it gets people talking. Furthermore, he admits that trying to find weakness on an aging veteran like Anderson has proven to be a tough task.

“Hey man, I’m alright with it. Whatever gets people to talk. These are just the guys ranked above me and it gets people talking. I’m fighting a big name, people are interested, and let’s see if Anderson can take on a young up-and-coming fighter like myself.

“I saw his last fight against Derek Brunson and I saw very little holes,” he continued. “Usually, I can spot holes in people’s game, but, Anderson was a different animal. It’s going to be a difficult task, for sure. I think Brunson showed him too much respect, and he does deserve all the respect; but once that cage door closes, it’s gotta be your world.”

It’s a mistake Gastelum says he won’t make even though he is still in awe of the fact that he is fighting the greatest of all time. And while he expects to finish Silva, he won’t necessarily be happy if another devastating loss forced “Spider” to retire.

“I hope [Silva doesn’t retire with a loss]. I expect the same results I did with Vitor, but if that happens, I am going to cry doing it. I thought the Vitor fight was big, but this is a whole other level. I’m fighting the greatest of all time. It’s like fighting Mike Tyson ... it’s insane,” Gastelum concluded.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania