WATCH: Kevin Gastelum Merks UFC Legend Vitor Belfort In Round 1
The headliner from this weekend’s UFC Fight Night saw up-and-comer Kelvin Gastelum take on former UFC light heavyweight champion and future hall of famer Vitor Belfort in a clash that would see the winner shoot up the middleweight rankings.
At five foot nine, Gastelum (13-2 before this fight) is significantly shorter than most of the middleweight division but he looked right at home after moving up from welterweight when he took care of veteran fighter, Tim Kennedy, by way of a third round knockout at UFC 206.
After that performance, he stated that he would be returning to welterweight where he has missed weight twice but in the end he thought better of it and decided to continue at middleweight.
His opponent, Brazilian Vitor Belfort (25-13 before this fight) was looking to turn around his recent form inside the Octagon where he had lost three of his last four fights, all by way of knockout.
The 39-year-old Belfort was desperate for one more run at the title and he knew that a victory of the highly regarded Gastelum would put his career right back on track.
For his part, Gastelum has a hell of a lot of respect for the heavy-hitting veteran and was definitely not taking him lightly, as could be seen in his comments before the fight:
“I’ve seen him in action; he’s been in this game for more than 20 years and has been up and down. He’s been up again and down again and I respect that. That is something to keep in mind because nobody goes through 20 years without having some sort of intelligence in the game and having some sort of balls too.”
Gastelum gave an early taste of his intention, when he connected on a big right to the jaw and then dropped Belfort with a huge right hand.
— UFC (@ufc) March 12, 2017
To the future hall of famers credit, Belfort’s somehow managed to get back into the fight, but Gastelum remained composed. The end came soon thereafter as he landed a big right to the jaw and a precise straight right that brought the fight to an end.
WATCH THE FINISH ON THE PLAYER BELOW
— FS1 (@FS1) March 12, 2017