For the first time in nearly seven years, Kelvin Gastelum is making the return to welterweight.
After a 12-fight stint at 185 pounds, Gastelum announced on Thursday he’s making the move back down to the 170-pound weight division.
Official announcement ‼️ pic.twitter.com/ZKVwhhBJY2— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) May 11, 2023
“I’m making an official announcement, an official drop down to 170,” Gastelum said. “Expect my next fight to be at 170. I’m going to get shredded, I hope, and I think I can make another title run at that weight class. I think I can make it.”
Gastelum picked up five victories during his middleweight run, which included an interim title shot against Israel Adesanya in which he dropped a decision in one of the best fights of 2019.
The 31-year-old found success competing at welterweight early in his UFC run after winning season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter. Gastelum won his first four fights at 170 in the octagon before losing a split decision to Tyron Woodley at UFC 183 in January 2015, a fight Gastelum missed weight for by five pounds.
Gastelum’s weight issues continued ahead of a scheduled UFC 205 matchup with Donald Cerrone. He didn’t even step on the scale, knowing he wouldn’t be able to get to a weight where he would be allowed to compete.
Gastelum said now that he is older and wiser, he believes he has the mindset to make those issues of making the limit a thing of the past.
“This is a second chance, this is a renaissance in my career,” he explained. “This is a rebirth. Before, I was young, I was stupid, undisciplined, but now that I’m older, [I’m] a little bit more mature and smarter, hopefully. This has always been my weight class to go to, but it really just takes me to decide that I want to do it, and now I [have decided] that I’m going to do it.”