Kelvin Gastelum has had a rough few weeks following his failed marijuana test at UFC Fight Night 106.
The 25-year-old fighter was suspended by the Brazilian MMA Sports Court for three months after testing positive for cannabis in a sample collected on the day of his main event bout with Vitor Belfort on March 11 in Fortaleza, Brazil. As a consequence of the failed drug test, Gastelum’s impressive finish over Belfort was converted into a “no contest” and he was also docked 20 percent of his purse, which he says cost him nearly $100,000.
To top all that off, the UFC was forced to pull Gastelum from the biggest opportunity of his young, promising fighting career: a scheduled bout with MMA superstar and legend Anderson Silva at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro on June 3. That’s the news that truly hurt.
“I was devastated,” Gastelum said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. “I was devastated, and I still am devastated because it was a huge opportunity that I missed. I was dumbfounded, I was in shock, I was so devastated, that’s the only word I can think of and I’m still thinking about it.”
Gastelum, who has a medical marijuana license in his home state of California, says he has always smoked marijuana in the lead up to his fights and has never had issues with drug tests, as he usually stops smoking in time for competition.
“Well, I always stop consuming a few weeks before the fight,” Gastelum explained. “I always have in all my fights, and I didn’t do anything different, so you know, I went into the fight thinking nothing was wrong.
“I’ve found that it helps with pain and really just pain and sleeping. We train so much, I pretty much hurt myself everyday, I’m in pain pretty much everyday, so it’s good to relax the muscles a little bit.”
Despite loving the country of Brazil, the Kings MMA product vows to never fight there again, as he feels the Brazilian commission didn’t handle the situation properly.
“It was a big headache going back and forth with the Brazilian commission,” he said. “And on top of what was already taken from me, they wanted to fine me 20 percent on top of that, and I just think it was really unfair and I was really angry towards the commission. I want to make that clear, because I hope my Brazilian fans don't get mad, I was mad at the commission, it’s been a headache dealing with the commission and trying to fight this battle. That’s why I would never fight in Brazil.
“I hope I can get past this and just learn from it, it’s been a hard few weeks. Personally, I’ve had a few problems with my family, I’ve had problems with the commission, my employer, I’ve been talking to Dana White and he's pissed as well, so it’s caused me a lot of headaches and I’m just ready to move past it.”
Gastelum’s suspension will be over in June, as it was retroactive from the day the sample was collected, and according to him, he already has a middleweight fight booked. To his chagrin, though, it’s not against Silva.
“It’s a shame that I’m not allowed to fight [Silva], but you know, I already resolved the issue,” Gastelum said. “Hopefully this is something I learn from and it’s something that we grow from, but you know, I just don't know what they base off their THC level off of. This is just a learning experience, I’m going to move on, I'm going to learn from it and — I’m not going to say who or when — but I already got something lined up and I'm just waiting to announce it.”