Now that Robert Whittaker has defeated Yoel Romero a second time, there’s plenty of talk about who will be next for the UFC’s middleweight champ. Well, according to Kelvin Gastelum, it seems pretty clear he should be tapped for a title shot.
Whittaker faced Romero in the headliner of UFC 225 last weekend, and emerged with a razor thin, some would say, controversial, split decision win. It looks like Romero and his team are campaigning for a third bout with Whittaker, but since the Cuban star has missed weight for his last two fights, Dana White’s believes the wrestler should move to 205.
So, it Romero doesn’t get another bout with the champ, who will? Enter Gastelum.
While speaking to the media after Saturday’s card, the former welterweight contender had this to say about his title shot prospects (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I haven’t been told I’m next in line, but I mean, who else would be in line?”
“I mean, (Chris Weidman) – maybe?”
“I’m one of the most active middleweights fighting in the the top 10 among middleweights worldwide,” Gastelum said. “I’ve been winning. I mean, I lost one against Weidman, but out of my last six, I’ve won five – not counting the no-contest.”
There’s no doubt that Gastelum has a strong case, particularly on account of the middleweight division’s current status. Luke Rockhold was KO’d by Romero in February, and the former champ’s said he’s moving to light-heavyweight. Weidman does hold a win over Gastelum but he’s still dealing with a hand injury. Further, Weidman had lost three straight before submitting Gastelum last July. The latter is coming off a win over “Jacare” Souza, who is the only other fighter ranked in the top five (Souza’s #5) mentioned here.
But, while discussing the middleweight title shot picture this past weekend, White said this:
“No comment on Kelvin Gastelum. He should have been the back-up here tonight when this all went down. He couldn’t do it. He’s got some personal issues that he seriously needs to take care of.”
The UFC President wouldn’t expand or offer any details, so, it’s not really clear yet when and who Gastelum could fight next.