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Kelvin Gastelum feels he could have finished Chris Weidman, hints at 170 return

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It was the big “what if” of UFC on FOX 25: What if Kelvin Gastelum had more time on the clock after he dropped Chris Weidman with a huge left hand?

Gastelum connected in the waning seconds of the opening round during their middleweight main event Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. But the horn sounded before The Ultimate Fighter 17 winner could finish the job.

That turned out to be his one big moment of the fight. Weidman regained control in the second round and finished Gastelum with an arm triangle 3:45 into the third.

For his part, Gastelum believed that with a little more time, he would have gotten the job done.

“I wanted 30 more seconds and I could have finished the fight,” Gastelum said at the post-fight press conference. “But it’s okay, you know? These things happen.”

That marked the first time Gastelum tasted defeat since moving up to 185 pounds -- he had his arm raised in each of the last three fight, although the last one, a first-round finish of Vitor Belfort, was changed to a no-contest following a marijuana suspension.

This time, though, Gastelum was ragdolled by Weidman, who appeared bigger and stronger.

And while Gastelum missed 170 pounds on several occasions, but he believes this time around, he’ll be mature enough to make the proper adjustments and give it another go.

“He felt really big, he felt really strong,” Gastelum said. “I feel like 170 is my home, I feel like I need to reassess some things, change my lifestyle a little bit, I’m already planning on going to Vegas to the UFC training institute, they have great dieticians that I’m going to be working with.

“I think my next fight should be at 170.”

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