Middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum was ‘Dumbfounded’ by UFC president Dana White’s comments about the personal issue.
The pay-per-view event somehow didn’t create the firework after Yoel Romero failed to make weight for a title fight against champion Robert Whittaker. Gastelum who was in attendance at UFC 225 event but not for the showdown. White at the post-fight conference revealed he wanted Gastelum to fill in for overweight Romero; instead, Kelvin opted out saying he has “personal issues.”
Gastelum responds to White’s comments during a recent episode of ‘The MMA Hour ‘with new host Luke Thomas, The TUF 17 alum admitted he wasn’t sure what White was saying, but suggested it could be related to not stepping in to save the event. (Via MMAFighting)
“I was dumbfounded. Because I don’t know where those comments are coming from. I just figured he was upset over me not taking the fight 1.5 days before. My manager was negotiating money to get from that. I wasn’t gonna be doing it for free. That fell through. So they told me that’s not happening.”
Gastelum did admit that his team was in negotiation with UFC to be available for short notice replacement, but promotion was unwilling to pay the desired amount, so the talks fell apart. Romero had a hard time making the 185-pound limit, and Gastelum was weighing at least 200 pounds that day, and ultimately deemed it impossible to make a limit during that time frame.
“My manager was negotiating money to get from that,” Gastelum said. “I wasn’t gonna be doing it for free. That fell through. So they told me that’s not happening.”
“I looked down at my belly and I’m like, ‘No, I don’t think I can do this in a day and a half,’” Gastelum said with a laugh.… “In a day and a half’s notice while I’ve been out drinking and eating, I probably would have been in the hospital if I would have tried that.”
Gastelum also had a history of a weight cut issues, the reason he’s fight at middleweight division instead of welterweight. Kelvin is currently riding on a two-win streak and believes he’s next in line for a title shot against Whittaker.
“I thought Romero would have been getting the nod, but obviously he didn’t. And selfishly I thought, I was hoping they’d give it to Whittaker. Just because Romero had missed weight, he wouldn’t have been getting the belt and then it just would have created this whole scenario where I’m definitely not getting the next shot. It just wouldn’t be a position where I would be fighting for a title any time soon.”
Now at Gastelum’s end, he needs a dialogue with UFC to clarify his statement to see what’s next for him.
“I would love to sit down and see what those comments are about. I just haven’t reached out to him about it. Eventually, I want to sit down with him and talk to him and meet with him and see what the future holds.”
Kelvin last fought at UFC 224, where he defeated Ronaldo Souza via split decision last May.