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Kelvin Gastelum battled demons, 30-pound weight gain on UFC comeback tour

UFC 224: Weigh-ins Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in his decade-long mixed martial arts (MMA) career, which gained notoriety after his winning performance on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17.

In fact, the former welterweight nearly upset Israel Adesanya in the UFC 236 co-main event back in April 2018, but ultimately came up short in his quest to capture the 185-pound title. That performance was followed by a lackluster effort against the resurgent Darren Till at UFC 244.

“Last year I was supposed to fight in February for the title, and in my head I was going to be a world champion, and that didn’t happen,” Gastelum said (via MMA Junkie). “Fought in April and lost, fought in November and lost, so yeah, I think I did go through a little bit of depression. I gained like 30 pounds and had an injury, had to recover from that. I had to battle some demons in my off time. And you know what? I battled them. I conquered them, and here I am ready to go.”

While we’re on the topic, “Demons” is a great song by Rigor Mortis (listen here), which has no relevance to this article, but it’s not often I get the chance to plug 80’s death metal. And of course, “By Demons Be Driven” from Pantera should be a part of any metal playlist.

Rigor Mortis played with Phil Anselmo back in 2007.

Gastelum is undoubtedly in a must-win situation against fellow middleweight contender Jack Hermansson. They’ll do the deed in the UFC Fight Island 2 co-main event this Sat. night (July 18, 2020) on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

To see that entire fight card and line up click here.