Kelvin Gastelum Talks Fighting Vitor Belfort: ‘His Back is Against the Wall, That’s When They React The Strongest’

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Kelvin Gastelum returned to the middleweight division at UFC 206 and retired Tim Kennedy, as he outpaced the 37-year-old and TKO’d him via punches in the third round. Now Gastelum looks to send Vitor Belfort into retirement at UFC Fight Night 106 on Saturday night, as a third straight loss would be nearly impossible for ‘The Phenom’ to rebound from at 39 years of age (although TRT Vitor in Japan would be a treat, amirite!?).

“I feel like he’s dangerous, for sure. He’s lost twice in a row, nobody wants to lose three times in a row, alright? And I feel like his back is against the wall — when somebody’s back is against the wall that’s when they react the hardest and that’s when they react the strongest. So I feel like that’s the kind of position Vitor’s in, so I have to be really really smart in this fight,” Vitor told MMAFighting on UFC: Belfort vs. Gastelum media day this week.

Gastelum says he plans to go right after ‘The Phenom’ in the first round, even though Belfort’s historically dangerous in the opening frame of his UFC bouts, having finished 13 of his 23 career fights inside the octagon in the first 5 minutes. In Belfort’s last four fights dating back to May 2015, he was knocked out by Chris Weidman (1st round), Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza (1st round), and most recently Gegard Mousasi at UFC 204 in October (2nd round).

Kelvin also told MMAFighting that he’s made some lifestyle changes since his weight cutting issues that (multiple times) forced him up to the middleweight division, like not letting himself get too big when he’s not in fight camp. Although he’s still not sure where he will fight in the future, Kelvin believes he can beat UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley, a man he lost to via Split decision at UFC 183 after missing the 171-pound welterweight limit.

“Any fight that will get me to the title fight is the one that I want.”

UFC Fight Night 106 will air live on FS1 Saturday Night from Fortaleza, Brazil, and be co-main evented by a light heavyweight bout between Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Gian Villante.


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