Kelvin Gastelum: Adesanya loss burns in my soul

One year ago, Kelvin Gastelum paired with reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. The fight was one of the greatest in the history of the sport

“I’m very proud of the effort that I put in that fight and what we did in that fight despite the circumstances, and I’m very proud of that fight because I got to do a lot of things that I haven’t been able to do in a lot of other fights,” Gastelum told MMA Junkie. “I’m very proud of it. At the same time though, this is not why I got into the sport, to say and look back, “I almost did it. I was this close.” No, man. I’m not going to be one of those people.”

“I’m not really worried about it right now, but when people ask me, and they’re like, “You were this close,” it sucks. It burns in my soul. It burns in my heart to know I was that close, and I just won’t let it happen again.”

“I feel like after the Israel fight, I was eager to get back and prove something because I lost, but it didn’t work out in my favor,” Gastelum said. “I lost the Darren Till fight, and I feel like after the Darren Till fight, I realized, ‘Man, maybe I should have taken some more time to kind of heal from that beating I took last April.’ After that fight, I should have taken more time off.”

“I was really eager. I had done more damage to my body than I probably realized. I wasn’t there mentally. I wasn’t there physically or emotionally in the Darren Till fight. I don’t even feel like I lost to him, just because of the way that I felt. I didn’t feel like really being there, to be honest.”

Image: БТА

“It should be a few weeks before I get those conversations going again with Ali or Dana, and actually, I’m very much looking forward to it,” Gastelum said. “I’m looking forward to training again – just very much looking forward to that process again. This is what I love to do, and part of it is that process: Waking up in the morning, being sore, being tired, but at the same time, you know you’re chasing something incredible, and I can’t wait to be part of that process again.”

Forced to consider other options, Jared Cannonier is another name that Gastelum finds appealing, as well.

“He’s at that level,” Gastelum said. “He’s a dangerous guy, and everybody recognizes how dangerous he is. That would be another big name. If you beat him, you’re right there, too, you know? That would be another guy.”

“I don’t know. There’s a couple options. I just don’t know who the matchmakers would want me to match up with for the next fight, but I mean, I’m hoping for anybody: Robert Whittaker, Jared Cannonier, Jack Hermansson.”

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