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Tag: Kelvin Gastelum

Kelvin Gastelum Was Near Quitting MMA Before TUF 17, Now Looks to Welterweight


(Photo by Sherdog | Dave Mandel)

Saturday night, Kelvin Gastelum put the brakes on perhaps the biggest Ultimate Fighter hype train in the show’s history, Uriah Hall, by winning a split-decision at TUF 17 finale but today he told MMA Fighting that just a few months ago he was close to hanging up his gloves. “Before [TUF] I was struggling. I was about ready to quit MMA for a while, and just get another job because obviously I wasn’t doing well financially,” he said.

“I was like, man, if I don’t make it, it’s going to be a while until I’m back in a cage somewhere. Luckily it worked out all in my favor.”

Hall had knocked out and sent multiple fellow contestants to the hospital during his reign of terror on the TUF 17 set but Gastelum was able to shut down the striker’s dangerous offense for the most part. Promoter Dana White had said Hall was the scariest guy in TUF history before the fight and afterwards, suggested that Hall was, in fact, mentally broken and not mean enough.

The new TUF 17 champion wasn’t afraid of the hype going into Saturday’s fight and he doesn’t buy the hype now that he only managed to win because Hall suddenly became a shell of himself, psychologically. It was hard for Uriah to look great because Gastelum wouldn’t let him.

“People are saying he didn’t perform, and I guess I would have to agree,” Kelvin said.

“Mostly because I was putting the pressure on him and actually bringing the fight, which it what a lot of the guys didn’t do. Adam Cella was the guy that brought the fight [during the season] until he stayed stationary the last couple seconds and got caught with that kick. Then the other guys were just scared. I wasn’t scared, I brought the fight to him…it worked out in my favor.”

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‘The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen Finale’ Aftermath – A Season Worth Watching


Photo Courtesy of Getty Images.

Every UFC main event has to be about something, and when there aren’t any titles on the line, things tend to get pretty creative. Leading up to the main event of the TUF 17 Finale, the talk surrounding the bout focused on the friendship between competitors Urijah Faber and Scott Jorgensen and how it may affect the bout. Whether the two were actually the close friends that the media made them out to be was completely irrelevant; which is good, because Jorgensen revealed during fight week that they weren’t.

What we were left with was a bout between the number two and number seven ranked bantamweights that played out as expected. This isn’t to say that the fight wasn’t entertaining (it was), but Jorgensen was outgunned early and often by Faber before “The California Kid” sank in the fight ending rear-naked choke in the fourth round. It was closer than the gambling odds indicated it would be, but not exactly a close fight, and though Jorgensen managed to mount some offense of his own, he never appeared to be any real threat to Faber.

The bantamweight division is very top-heavy, which perhaps more than anything explains why Urijah Faber is seemingly always one fight away from a title shot. The gap between the top five guys and the rest of the division is wider than most fans would care to acknowledge, and it showed last night. Still, I’d rather watch Urijah Faber fight Michael McDonald than watch him get crammed into yet another title fight. I doubt I’m in the minority here – at least among hardcore fans.

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The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen Finale — Live Results and Commentary


(“Nice hair, douchebag.” — Both of them. / Image via MMAFighting.com)

Is Uriah Hall really the next big thing at middleweight, or will the constantly-overlooked Kelvin Gastelum pull off another upset? Which rock-solid female bantamweight is going to earn a reality-TV coaching gig (and future title shot) against Ronda Rousey? How much tread is left on The California Kid‘s tires? How exactly does one drink a Gatorade from a reclining position, in the traditional Brazilian style? These questions — and many others — will be answered tonight, folks. Prepare yourselves.

Handling play-by-play duties for our TUF 17 Finale liveblog is Alex Giardini, who will stack up results from the FX main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please share your own thoughts in the comments section.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale Edition

On paper, this Saturday’s TUF 17 Finale card is dominated by wide mismatches. But which fights will actually be blowouts, and which ones will end in profitable upsets? Check out the betting lines below (via bestfightodds.com) and let’s see if we can win some cash off this thing.

MAIN CARD (FX, 9 p.m. ET)
Urijah Faber (-435) vs. Scott Jorgensen (+375)
Uriah Hall (-309) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (+325)
Cat Zingano (-115) vs. Miesha Tate (+106)
Travis Browne (-250) vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (+240)
Robert McDaniel (-166) vs. Gilbert Smith (+155)

PRELIMINARY CARD (FUEL TV, 7 p.m. ET)
Josh Samman (-445) vs. Kevin Casey (+370)
Luke Barnatt (-124) vs. Collin Hart (+115)
Jimmy Quinlan (+100) vs. Dylan Andrews (+105)
Clint Hester (-160) vs. Bristol Marunde (+150)

PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 5:30 p.m. ET)
Bart Palaszewski (-160) vs. Cole Miller (+155)
Daniel Pineda (-120) vs. Justin Lawrence (+109)
Maximo Blanco (-200) vs. Sam Sicilia (+195)

If you’re confused about what the numbers mean, read this. Otherwise, let’s proceed…

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‘The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen’ Episode 12 Recap — And the Finalists Are…


(Screenshot via CageWall.com)

It couldn’t have worked out better, really. Last night’s semifinals episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Sonnen left us with two fantastic middleweight prospects: A ferociously powerful striker who’s been the show’s front-runner since his first knockout in the house, and a 21-year-old rookie who kicks ass like a seasoned pro and harbors a not-so-secret crush on Ronda Rousey. In the interest of spoiler-sensitivity, we won’t post their names right here, but come on, you all know who we’re talking about.

Follow us after the jump as we recap the two fights from TUF 17 episode 12, which both ended in stoppages. Plus: The complete fight lineup for this Saturday’s TUF 17 Finale in Las Vegas, which includes one surprising (i.e., indefensibly terrible) matchup on the main card.

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‘The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen’ Episode 10 — Complete Video & Recap


(Props: The Ultimate Fighter on Hulu)

Last night’s installment of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen featured the season’s first two quarterfinal matchups along with some celebrity guest-appearances. Check out the complete video above, or read our recap below if you don’t have the patience for that sort of thing…

- After making into the quarterfinals with his wild card win over Kevin Casey, Bubba McDaniel admits that he doesn’t want to face Uriah Hall because he’s still haunted by Hall’s incredible knockout of Adam Cella. He’ll have to get comfortable with the matchup real quick, since they’re facing each other in the next episode. Coach Jones does his best to build up McDaniel’s confidence, but Bubba looks like a man facing the firing squad. I’ll go out on a limb and say that this little storyline ends with a nervous breakdown and a trip to the hospital.

- The first quarterfinal match will be Kelvin Gastelum (Team Sonnen) vs. Collin Hart (Team Jones). Jones thinks Hart’s jiu-jitsu is “extraordinary,” which will be their key to victory. Though Gastelum has a reputation as a wrestler, Sonnen sees him more as a brawler. But in a good way.

- Coach Sonnen makes good on his promise to give Kelvin seven minutes alone in a closet with Ronda Rousey. Nah. Actually, the UFC women’s bantamweight champ drops by to shake Kelvin’s hand and teach the boys some judo. “It was pretty awesome, you know, getting handled by her [nervous laughter],” Kelvin says. Ronda also drops some nuggets from her own fighting philosophy: “Fighting is about respect, and having respect for your opponent, but at the same time you have to have no respect for your opponent, ’cause you’re the one that’s supposed to walk out of there. They don’t have the right to beat you.”

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‘The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen’ Episode 5 — Complete Video & Recap


(Props: The Ultimate Fighter on Hulu)

After Collin Hart’s decision win over Kevin Casey returned matchup-control to Team Jones, it’s fan-favorite Robert “Bubba” McDaniel‘s time to shine — or crash-and-burn, whichever the case may be. Here are the major plot points from last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen, which you can watch above in its entirety.

- This week’s fight will be Bubba vs. Kelvin Gastelum, a 5-0 prospect (and full-time bail bondsman) from Arizona who, at 21 years old, is apparently the youngest competitor ever allowed onto The Ultimate Fighter. Jones picked the matchup because he sees Kelvin as Team Sonnen’s weakest link, and feels that Bubba’s vast experience edge and overall skills will make the difference in the fight. As usual, Coach Chael Sonnen tries to stay positive: “They don’t know what they handed you,” he tells Kelvin. “They handed you a big opportunity. Everybody here’s gotta win this tournament to get in the UFC. You just gotta beat this guy. This is your ticket, right here.”

- Kelvin is apparently a big Ronda Rousey fan, so Chael sweetens the pot by arranging for Ronda to call Kelvin and wish him luck, then promises that Ronda will come down and train with him if he wins. Man, that devious bastard.

- Chael Sonnen’s friendliness is still throwing Jon Jones for a loop; the champ likes to keep a “mystique” about himself and maintain a distance from future opponents, but Sonnen is making that difficult by constantly engaging Jones in pleasant conversation. Seriously, Chael, when are you going to start fucking with his parking spot and hiding his sandals?

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