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Kelvin Gastelum: "I'm on a mission for gold”

Kelvin Gastelum thinks he might get one last crack at a title shot in his upcoming fight with Shavkat Rakhmonov.

On September 16th, the co-main event of the upcoming Mexican Independence Day Weekend card will pit Gastelum against Rakhmonov. He moves back to welterweight after his lengthy stint at middleweight in an effort to challenge for the title in the division.

Gastelum began his UFC career at welterweight before a series of weight-cutting missteps. At UFC 188, he made the complete transition to middleweight and later competed against Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight title.

Gastelum said: "I'm on a mission for gold still, and that's one of the reasons why I feel like this is important," Gastelum said. "It puts me right there in those conversations to fight for the title, and that's the main reason I chose to accept this fight.
It's because I feel like I'm 10 years deep, and I feel like I'm still very young, but at the same time, I'm not. This sport has a very short timetable. So I feel like there's a window and one day that window will close. I want to make the most out of my career, now, and not have to wait 10 years down the line, 20 years, and keep wondering 'What if?'."

The closest Gastelum has come to a championship shot was an interim title fight against Adesanya. He lost at UFC 236 by unanimous decision in what many consider to be one of the greatest fights in the history of the organisation.

Rakhmonov has made a name for himself in the welterweight division thanks to recent victories against Geoff Neal and Neil Magny, among others. Prior to joining the UFC, he won the M-1 welterweight championship.


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