Kelvin Gastelum

USA

Grinds past Ian Heinisch
MiddleweightUFC
February 13, 2021
Gastelum defeated Ian Heinisch via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 258 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
A loser of three fights in a row and likely needing a victory to save his job, Gastelum shocked the MMA world and leaned on his grappling to get the job done. Kelvin scored six successful takedowns after never landing more than three in any of his previous UFC bouts. Many people forget how good of a wrestler Gastelum is because he never uses those skills, but Saturday was an excellent reminder of the type of ability he possesses. Kelvin has always had some of the fastest hands in the division, so implementing his wrestling game on a regular basis would only serve to improve his chances of moving up the rankings. Toss in his legendary durability and the fact he is still just 29 years of age, and you have a legitimate contender at 185 pounds. Don't sleep on Gastelum despite his recent struggles.
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Heinisch fight bumped back
MiddleweightUFC
December 22, 2020
Gastelum's upcoming middleweight fight against Ian Heinisch will now take place Feb. 13, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA.nl reports.
ANALYSIS
The matchup had originally been set for Jan. 30, but there's no longer a card scheduled for that date. Gastelum will now get an extra two weeks to prepare as he looks to turn his three-fight losing streak around. As of early-January, Gastelum is listed as a (-225) betting favorite for the matchup.
Agrees to January fight
MiddleweightUFC
November 12, 2020
Gastelum will take on Ian Heinisch (illness) in a middleweight bout at UFC Fight Night on Jan. 30, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Gastelum is currently riding a three-fight losing streak, most recently losing to Jack Hermansson via submission (Heel Hook) in July during his only fight of 2020. He'll look to rebound against Heinisch, who was forced to withdraw from his fight scheduled for Nov. 7 after testing positive for COVID-19. Heinisch defeated Gerald Meerschaert via TKO (punches) in June, bringing his record to 3-2 under the UFC banner. Heinisch has a slight advantage in height, but the two fighters are even in reach.
Losing streak hits three
MiddleweightUFC
July 18, 2020
Gastelum lost to Jack Hermansson via submission (Heel Hook) at 1:18 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
Kelvin is going to be kicking himself after this one. He got lazy and reckless when trying to escape a ground exchange between the two men and allowed Hermansson to grab a hold of his leg and clamp on the submission that ended the fight. Gastelum is an excellent wrestler, but he has built his strong reputation on the strength of his boxing, and he never got a chance to get that part of his game going on Saturday. To say Kelvin is at a career crossroads is a monumental understatement. He won't turn 29 years of age until October, but he has now lost three fights in a row and is without a win in well over two years. It's impossible to believe the UFC would send him packing, but there simply aren't a ton of fights that make sense for Gastelum right now.
Facing Hermansson on Fight Island
MiddleweightUFC
June 3, 2020
Gastelum and Jack Hermansson have agreed to a middleweight bout at Fight Island on July 18, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Gastelum lost to Darren Till at UFC 244 in November and suffered a full LCL tear in January, but he's now healthy and will have a chance to end his two-fight skid on Fight Island. Hermansson is also coming off a defeat, as he went down via TKO to Jared Cannonier at UFC Copenhagen in September.
Handed second ban by USADA
MiddleweightUFC
May 11, 2020
Gastelum (knee) received a nine-month suspension for violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy in November, after his loss to Darren Till at UFC 244 in New York, Shaheen Al-Shatti of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Gastelum was previously handed a suspension for violating the anti-doping policy in 2017, making this his second such infraction. His period of ineligibility was reduced by five months due to successful completion of a drug treatment program, so he's already eligible to return to the octagon. However, Gastelum is still recovering from a full LCL tear sustained while training in January. The 28-year-old fortunately managed to avoid surgery, and he's targeting July as a tentative return date, when he hopes to book a rematch with Israel Adesanya.