It wasn’t easy, but Kelvin Gastelum proved he can take what the welterweight division in the UFC has to offer.
The former Ultimate Fighter winner improved to 8-0 with a decision victory over Rick Story Saturday night at UFC 171, and did so while dealing with adversity.
First, Gastelum missed weight upon initially hitting the scales Friday. He retreated to the back and cut down the necessary pounds to keep from surrendering any of his fight purse, but looked worn out after doing so.
The 22-year-old appeared well on his way to picking up another first round victory over Story, rocking the veteran early. However, Story showed his experience, coming back in the second.
For Gastelum, a fight like this was the perfect measuring tool for showing he is here to stay.
His story has been well-told, as Gastelum was the final pick on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen by Chael Sonnnen. He entered an underdog, and left still one after upsetting Uriah Hall in the finals.
Gastelum, though, has shown his abilities now in wins over Brian Melancon and Story. While still young in age and experience, he is one to watch in the welterweight division.