Kelvin Gastelum is back.
Of all the great performances at UFC 287 this past weekend (April 8, 2023), none may have been better than the resurgence of Gastelum’s to close out the preliminary card. The one-time interim Middleweight title challenger went to war with Chris Curtis, earning a unanimous decision win that snapped his two-fight skid.
The win was just Gastelum’s second in six fights since his first and only crack at UFC gold against the now-champion, Israel Adesanya, in April 2019. That same night, Adesanya reclaimed the division’s title, defeating Alex Pereira via a second-round knockout (watch highlights). Gastelum and Adesanya put on one of the greatest fights of all time, leaving The Ultimate Fighter 17 (TUF) winner, Gastelum, with the hopes of running things back.
“We got the win, mission accomplished for now,” Gastelum said on his YouTube channel. “I’m back on my feet. This is like I said, the renaissance of K.G. ... I’m ready to take it to another level. I’m ready to go all the way this time. All the way to the belt. Maybe a rematch with ‘Izzy,’ who knows? That’s the goal, why not?
“People want to see that fight,” he continued. “I want to be champion. I’m not just saying that just to say it. I mean that. So, that’s where I’m working towards. I’m talking to my manager about what the next steps are.”
Gastelum hopes to get back to his active ways after ending a layoff that extended to Aug. 2021 before UFC 287. Already in talks for the immediate future, the seemingly revitalized Gastelum intends on returning around International Fight Week in July 2023.
“I was nervous about feeling that ring rust, but to be honest, I felt like I belonged,” Gastelum said of fighting Curtis. “I felt like I had just fought the other day and everything was so natural, everything was so smooth. I impressed myself a little bit. I gotta pat myself a little bit on the back.”
For complete UFC 287 results and coverage click here.