This is like the 8th seed Denver Nuggets beating the the Seattle Sonics in the 1994 NBA playoffs, only we didn’t get the cool payoff of Kelvin Gastelum screaming up at the sky while clutching his newfangled TUF trophy. That’s cool though, it’s satisfying enough to experience a true underdog tale. From getting picked last on The Ultimate Fighter season 17, to beating the mega-hyped monster Uriah Hall, Kelvin Gastelum just wrote his own David and Goliath story, and it was pretty incredible to watch.
The fight began with Kelvin giving no ****s about Uriah Hall and his powers, moving forward and throwing heavy overhands that were landing despite the significant reach advantage of Hall. Uriah had accurate striking, and kept the tenacious Kelvin at bay for a while, even reversing multiple top positions that Kelvin was riding. Round two was pretty much Uriah, displaying his crisp striking and impressive strength with an incredible slam, but Kelvin refused to stop pressing forward. Then round three turns into a mad scramble of cage cutoffs and takedowns, with neither man dominating, but Kelvin just seemed like he wanted it more while eating Uriah’s savagely desperate shots from the bottom.
Insane fight, and an extremely close one to boot. At the end, the judges announce it as a split-decision for Gastelum, and the tears flow.
Whew, I’m spent. Between this and the Zingano/Tate fight, I’m ready to go to bed.