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Coach: Kelvin Gastelum was hospitalized Friday, isn't 100 percent heading into UFC 183

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS -- Kelvin Gastelum's weight cut was going about as well as could be expected, according to his coach Chance Farrar.

UFC Embedded cameras caught Gastelum at 179 pounds Friday morning. Farrar said Gastelum got down to 174 a few hours later, only three pounds off the welterweight maximum and well within striking distance of the mark.

When Gastelum and his team returned to the hotel room, though, things went horribly wrong.

Farrar, the head coach of Yuma MMA, said Gastelum "became non-responsive" and began vomiting.

"He wasn't vomiting food," Farrar told "It was more like mucus. He was in a bad state where he couldn't get himself off the floor. I had to pick him up."

Obviously, that was a worrisome situation and Farrar rightly took Gastelum to the emergency room. This was a little more than 24 hours before Gastelum was supposed to meet Tyron Woodley at UFC 183 on Saturday night at the MGM Grand.

"I was scared," said Farrar, a former WEC fighter. "I've never had an athlete do that before. That's the long and short of it.

"I was thinking the fight was off. There's no way this guy is fighting, it's done. ... That was kind of the attitude. Maybe it was a little bit quick to the make the decision, but that's how I felt at the time."

When Gastelum saw doctors, Farrar said they confirmed the team's original fear: that an illness Gastelum had earlier in the week had not gone completely away and he had a frightening relapse. Doctors told Gastelum that he had flu-like symptoms.

While at the hospital, Gastelum was rehydrating and taking medication. Farrar had given him a jug of water and gel packs. Later, the UFC doctor had Gastelum drink Sprite to replenish for sugar intake. The weight-cutting process was long over.

"I'm not saying it was an easy weight cut, it never is," Farrar said. "But it was going as well as it could until that happened. People can say what they want, but that's the only difference in my book for this weight cut."

Gastelum hit the scale later Friday afternoon and weighed in at 180 pounds, nine pounds over the maximum. At that point, Farrar still didn't think the fight was going to happen. Eventually, Woodley and Gastelum both agreed to go through with it. Gastelum will forfeit 30 percent of his purse to Woodley.

Farrar still doesn't feel that great about the entire situation. The Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) did clear Gastelum to compete, though, and it's what Gastelum wants to do.

"I always leave these decisions up to Kelvin," Farrar said. "I'm a coach. Of course, I'm a support system. Do I think that he's 100 percent? I do not, no. Do I think that he'll do great and that he's capable of winning the fight? Absolutely. He'll come to fight."

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Farrar isn't sure if the UFC pressured Gastelum into fighting, because he wasn't in on those meetings.

"My impression could lean toward that, but again, I didn't hear any of the discussions," Farrar said. "It's hearsay. I can't really say."

All in all, it wasn't a good situation. But Farrar wants to make it clear that it was the illness that upended the weight cut -- not Gastelum's discipline. The 23-year-old has struggled with cuts in the past and missed weight last June before a fight with Nico Musoke.

This, in Farrar's eyes, was a different situation, however.

"Kelvin wasn't feeling well in the front end of the week," Farrar said. "That's one of the reasons he was a little heavy at the front end of the week. But ultimately we felt like the weight cut was going fine. Everything was going good. We used different stimuli. He was consistently losing weight."