Gastelum’s Latest Scale Fail ‘Extremely Disappointing’

 Gastelum v Rodriguez
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Kelvin Gastelum fought well at UFC Saudi Arabia. Opposite the tough and experienced Daniel Rodriguez, Gastelum absorbed some heavy punches but never lost momentum. He controlled most of the fight with his long 1-2, kept a high work rate, and then finished strong by turning to his wrestling.

It was a well-rounded, veteran performance. As a result, Gastelum is back in the win column, a much-needed outcome after consecutive defeats. The problem, however, lies in the fact that Gastelum arrived in Riyadh so heavy that the bout was moved from Welterweight to Middleweight.

That’s a whopping 15-pound difference.

It’s hardly the first time Gastelum has struggled to make the Welterweight limit. In fact, it’s more like the fifth! Making weight has been a consistent issue for Gastelum since 2014, which has resulted in Gastelum spending much of his career fighting larger men at 185 lbs. Though he did challenge for interim gold at Middleweight, he’s also taken a ton of damage in the process and struggled as of late.

UFC CEO Dana White seems pretty fed up with the situation. At the UFC Saudi Arabia press conference, White was asked about Gastelum’s future, and he refused to offer any insight other than outright irritation.

“I don’t know. I’m not thrilled with Kelvin Gastelum right now. This guy’s missed weight like three times in his career. You got kids taking fights on a week notice, jumping off cards, coming over here and making weight, then Kelvin doesn’t make weight. It’s extremely disappointing.”

After the win, Gastelum has now won two of his last four, though he shouldn’t be considered in the promotion’s good graces. Rodriguez, meanwhile, has lost three in a row, but hopefully he’s earned some credit and job security for willingly taking on a challenge at an unplanned weight class.