Glendale, AZ — Kelvin Gastelum stopped by the UFC 263 media room on Saturday to answer questions about his fight with Robert Whittaker, his upcoming fight with Jared Cannioner, and much more.
Gastelum (16-7-1) is gearing up for his sixth main event against No. 4 ranked middleweight Cannioner on August 21, 2021, at UFC on ESPN 28. Cannioner was supposed to fight Paulo Costa, but a withdrawal on the Brazilians part gave way for Gastelum to take his spot.
“Yeah, this is a tough fight. This the kind of, this is the fight that I actually wanted, that I had in mind. I knew [Cannioner] was booked, but I knew, you know, Costa is— I have a lot of respect for him as a fighter, but I feel like throughout his career, he has been very injury prone. So I felt for that fight, something would maybe happen, and one of them would step out,” Gastelum told media outlets including Cageside Press during his guest fighter interview. “Unfortunately, it happened, he’s out, I’m in. This time I get a full camp, which I’m excited about. I’m excited to actually perform with a full camp.”
If Gastelum defeats Cannioner, he has a chance to be ranked as high as #4 in the middleweight division. While he would only be on a one-fight win streak, there is an argument that he should fight Israel Adesanya again if he does pick up the win — because he was in the most competitive fight to date with “The Last Stylebender.”
Cageside Press asked Gastelum if he thinks he is deserving of a title shot with a win over Cannioner.
“No, I think I need one or two more after that, you know, I think I have to beat Cannioner and another top-five guy. The road is a lot closer now these days, you know, but that comes with over ten years of work. So yeah, one or two wins get me closer, but there is still some road ahead of me,” Gastelum said.
He did say that if the fans want the rematch, “we can make it happen.”
Watch the full UFC 263 guest fighter media scrum with Kelvin Gastelum above.