Kelvin Gastelum

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Kelvin Gastelum
Kelvin Gastelum.jpg
Gastelum in September, 2018
BornKelvin Gastelum Encinas[1]
(1991-10-24) October 24, 1991 (age 30)[2]
San Jose, California, United States
NationalityAmerican
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
DivisionWelterweight (2013–2016)
Middleweight (2010–2013, 2016–present)
Reach71+12 in (182 cm)[3]
StanceSouthpaw
Fighting out ofYuma, Arizona, United States
TeamKings MMA
Yuma United MMA
RankBlack belt in 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu under Brian Beaumont[4]
WrestlingNJCAA Wrestling[5]
Years active2010–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total25
Wins16
By knockout6
By submission4
By decision6
Losses8
By submission2
By decision6
No contests1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Kelvin Gastelum Encinas[1] (born October 24, 1991) is an American professional mixed martial artist. He currently competes in the Middleweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Gastelum has competed for the UFC since he won The Ultimate Fighter 17. As of July 4, 2022, he is #11 in the UFC middleweight rankings.[6]

Early life[edit]

Gastelum is of Mexican descent. His family is from Obregon, Sonora, where he lived temporarily during his childhood.[7]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Gastelum won a 5A Division II AIA state wrestling title out of Cibola High School[8] and continued to wrestle at North Idaho College, where he was ranked as high as fifth in the country (NJCAA) as a freshman before deciding to compete in mixed martial arts professionally.[5] He worked as a bail bondsman prior to training MMA full-time.[9]

After turning professional, Gastelum amassed an undefeated record of five wins (all finishes) and no losses before competing in The Ultimate Fighter.[10]

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

In January 2013, it was announced that Gastelum was selected for The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen.[11] To get into the TUF house, Gastelum defeated Kito Andrews by decision. During the choosing of teams, he was picked last by coach Chael Sonnen for Team Sonnen.

Gastelum's next fight in the house was against Bubba McDaniel.[12] He won in the second round via rear naked choke submission.[13]

In the quarterfinals, Gastelum would take on Collin Hart. He won the fight by TKO in the first round.[14]

In the semifinals, Gastelum fought Josh Samman. He won via first round rear naked choke, and advanced to the tournament finals.[15]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Gastelum faced teammate Uriah Hall in the finals at the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.[16] Gastelum won the fight via split decision to win the Ultimate Fighter 17, becoming the youngest winner in the show's history at 21 years old and earned a UFC contract. After the victory, Gastelum announced he would be moving down a weight class to compete in the UFC 's welterweight division.[17]

Gastelum was expected to face Paulo Thiago on August 28, 2013, at UFC Fight Night 27.[18] However, Thiago pulled out of the bout citing a knee injury and was replaced by Brian Melancon.[19] Gastelum finished Melancon via rear naked choke in the first round.[20]

Gastelum was expected to face Court McGee on December 14, 2013, at UFC on Fox 9, but was forced to withdraw due to a torn PCL.[21]


Gastelum faced Rick Story on March 15, 2014, at UFC 171, a fight that he had specifically asked for.[22] He won the back-and-forth fight via split decision (28–29, 29–28, and 30–27).[23]

Gastelum faced Nico Musoke on June 28, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 44.[24] Gastelum missed weight by one and three-quarter pounds and forfeited 20% of his fight purse to Musoke.[25] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[26]

Gastelum next fought Jake Ellenberger on November 15, 2014, at UFC 180 as the co-main event.[27] He won the fight in the first round via rear-naked choke.[28] The win also earned Gastelum his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[29]


Gastelum next faced Tyron Woodley on January 31, 2015, at UFC 183. He missed weight by 10 lbs and was fined 30% of his fight purse which would be given to Woodley.[30] He lost the fight via split decision. In the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Woodley said that he would not accept 30% of Gastelum's purse, as him missing weight and losing was enough punishment.[31]

Due to Gastelum not being able to make weight on two occasions while fighting in the welterweight division in the UFC, UFC president Dana White ordered Gastelum to move up to middleweight.[32] In his return to middleweight, Gastelum faced Nate Marquardt at UFC 188 on June 13, 2015.[33] He won the fight via TKO after Marquardt's corner stopped the fight between the second and third round.[34]

Gastelum was expected to face Matt Brown in a welterweight bout on November 21, 2015, at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale.[35] However, Brown withdrew from the fight due to an ankle injury suffered in training.[36] He was replaced by Neil Magny.[37] Gastelum lost the fight by split decision.[38] Both participants earned Fight of the Night honors.[39]


Gastelum was scheduled to face Kyle Noke on January 2, 2016 at UFC 195,[40] however, Gastelum pulled out due to a wrist injury and was replaced by Alex Morono.[41]

Gastelum next faced Johny Hendricks on July 9, 2016 at UFC 200.[42] He won the fight via unanimous decision (29–28, 30–27, and 30–27).[43]

Gastelum was expected to face Donald Cerrone at UFC 205 but, on the day of the weigh-ins, Gastelum did not make an attempt to formally make the 171 lbs limit and the bout was scrapped.[44][45] This made it the third time Gastelum failed to make the 170 lb weight limit, prompting Dana White to say that he will "never let him fight at 170 again".[46]

Gastelum returned to middleweight and faced Tim Kennedy on December 10, 2016 at UFC 206.[47] He won the fight via TKO in the third round.[48]


Gastelum next fought Vitor Belfort on March 11, 2017, in the main event at UFC Fight Night 106.[49] He won the fight via TKO in the first round.[50] The win also earned Gastelum a Performance of the Night bonus award.[51]

Gastelum was expected to face Anderson Silva at UFC 212.[52] However, he was pulled from the event after USADA learned he tested positive for high levels of marijuana metabolite Carboxy-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Carboxy-THC) above the 180 ng/mL allowance by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from his previous drug test for his bout against Belfort.[53] On May 7, Gastelum's win over Belfort was officially overturned to a "No Contest" and he was suspended 90 days (retroactive to the March 11 test date).[54] The Performance of the Night which Gastelum had been awarded against Vitor Belfort was also rescinded.

Gastelum faced Chris Weidman on July 22, 2017, in the main event at UFC on Fox 25.[55] Gastelum lost the fight via submission in the third round.[56]

The bout with Anderson Silva was rescheduled and was expected to take place at a UFC Fight Night on November 25, 2017.[57] However, Silva was pulled from the bout due to failing a USADA drug test and was replaced by Michael Bisping.[58] Gastelum defeated Bisping by knockout in the first round.[59] He also earned his second Performance of the Night bonus award.[60]

Gastelum faced Ronaldo Souza on May 12, 2018, at UFC 224.[61] He won the back and forth fight via split decision.[62] Both combatants received the Fight of the Night bonus.[63]

In July 2018, the UFC announced that Gastelum and Robert Whittaker were selected as coaches for Ultimate Fighter 28 [64] On November 2, 2018, it was announced that Gastelum was scheduled to face Whittaker for the middleweight title on February 9, 2019, at UFC 234.[65] However, Whittaker pulled out of the event a few hours prior and forced to undergo emergency dual surgery later in the day due to an abdominal hernia of the intestine and a twisted and collapsed bowel.[66]

Interim UFC Middleweight championship[edit]

Gastelum faced Israel Adesanya on April 13, 2019 at UFC 236 for the interim UFC Middleweight championship.[67] He lost the fight via unanimous decision in a back and forth fight.[68] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award,[69] and was later voted the 2019 Fight of the Year by multiple MMA media outlets.[70][71]

After Interim UFC Middleweight championship[edit]

Gastelum faced Darren Till at UFC 244 in New York City, New York on November 2, 2019.[72] Subsequent to the event's weigh-ins, the NYSAC issued a rare statement that they would be pursuing disciplinary action against Gastelum. Per the statement, the Athletic Commission stated upon review of Gastelum's weigh-in video that they "determined that Mr. Gastelum made contact with another person while on the scale, a violation of the weigh in policy. As the result, Gastelum and his coach, Rafael Cordeiro, were fined $1,000 and $200 respectively by New York State Athletic Commission.[73] The official weight determination would not be disturbed, and Mr. Gastelum would not be disqualified from competing in UFC 244."[74] He lost the fight via split decision.[75] Gastelum was suspended by USADA for 9 months for testing testing positive for marijuana in relation to his bout with Darren Till at UFC 244 in November 2019 but the suspension was reduced to five months after Gastelum's successful completion of a drug treatment program.[76]

Gastelum faced Jack Hermansson on July 19, 2020, at UFC Fight Night 172.[77] He lost the fight via heel hook in round one.[78]

Gastelum was scheduled to face Ian Heinisch on January 30, 2021, at UFC Fight Night 186.[79] On December 26, 2020, it was announced that the bout has moved to UFC 258 on February 13, 2021.[80] Gastelum won the fight via unanimous decision.[81]

Gastelum faced Robert Whittaker, replacing Paulo Costa, on April 17, 2021, at UFC on ESPN 22.[82] Gastelum lost the fight via unanimous decision.[83] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[84]

Gastelum faced Jared Cannonier on August 21, 2021, at UFC on ESPN 29.[85] Gastelum lost the fight via unanimous decision.[86]

Gastelum was scheduled to face Nassourdine Imavov on April 9, 2022, at UFC 273.[87] However, Imavov was forced to withdraw due to visa issues[88] and he was replaced by Dricus du Plessis.[89] However, Gastelum withdrew a week before the event due to an undisclosed injury and his bout with du Plessis was cancelled.[90]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
25 matches 16 wins 8 losses
By knockout 6 0
By submission 4 2
By decision 6 6
No contests 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 16–8 (1) Jared Cannonier Decision (unanimous) UFC on ESPN: Cannonier vs. Gastelum August 21, 2021 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 16–7 (1) Robert Whittaker Decision (unanimous) UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Gastelum April 17, 2021 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 16–6 (1) Ian Heinisch Decision (unanimous) UFC 258 February 13, 2021 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 15–6 (1) Jack Hermansson Submission (heel hook) UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez 2 July 19, 2020 1 1:18 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Loss 15–5 (1) Darren Till Decision (split) UFC 244 November 2, 2019 3 5:00 New York City, New York, United States
Loss 15–4 (1) Israel Adesanya Decision (unanimous) UFC 236 April 13, 2019 5 5:00 Atlanta, Georgia, United States For the interim UFC Middleweight Championship. Fight of the Night. Fight of the Year (2019).
Win 15–3 (1) Ronaldo Souza Decision (split) UFC 224 May 12, 2018 3 5:00 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Fight of the Night.
Win 14–3 (1) Michael Bisping KO (punch) UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Gastelum November 25, 2017 1 2:30 Shanghai, China Performance of the Night.
Loss 13–3 (1) Chris Weidman Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC on Fox: Weidman vs. Gastelum July 22, 2017 3 3:45 Uniondale, New York, United States
NC 13–2 (1) Vitor Belfort NC (overturned by STJDMMA) UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum March 11, 2017 1 3:52 Fortaleza, Brazil Originally a TKO (punches) win for Gastelum; overturned after he tested positive for a marijuana metabolite.
Win 13–2 Tim Kennedy TKO (punches) UFC 206 December 10, 2016 3 2:45 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Return to Middleweight.
Win 12–2 Johny Hendricks Decision (unanimous) UFC 200 July 9, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Catchweight (171.25 lb) bout; Hendricks missed weight.
Loss 11–2 Neil Magny Decision (split) The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale: Magny vs. Gastelum November 21, 2015 5 5:00 Monterrey, Mexico Fight of the Night.
Win 11–1 Nate Marquardt TKO (corner stoppage) UFC 188 June 13, 2015 2 5:00 Mexico City, Mexico Middleweight bout.
Loss 10–1 Tyron Woodley Decision (split) UFC 183 January 31, 2015 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Catchweight (180 lb) bout; Gastelum missed weight.
Win 10–0 Jake Ellenberger Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 180 November 15, 2014 1 4:46 Mexico City, Mexico Performance of the Night.
Win 9–0 Nico Musoke Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Stephens June 28, 2014 3 5:00 San Antonio, Texas, United States Catchweight (172.75 lb) bout; Gastelum missed weight.
Win 8–0 Rick Story Decision (split) UFC 171 March 15, 2014 3 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States
Win 7–0 Brian Melancon Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann 2 August 28, 2013 1 2:26 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States Welterweight debut.
Win 6–0 Uriah Hall Decision (split) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen Finale April 13, 2013 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won The Ultimate Fighter 17 Middleweight Tournament.
Win 5–0 Mike Ashford TKO (punches) Rage in the Cage 161 July 20, 2012 1 1:57 Chandler, Arizona, United States
Win 4–0 Bill Smallwood Submission (rear-naked choke) Cage Rage: On the River 2 July 7, 2012 1 0:56 Parker, Arizona, United States
Win 3–0 Mike Gentile TKO (punches) Desert Rage Full Contact Fighting 10 October 22, 2011 2 2:32 Yuma, Arizona, United States
Win 2–0 Yair Moguel Submission (kimura) Latin American Warriors 1: Heatwave July 16, 2011 3 2:26 Mexicali, Mexico
Win 1–0 Jose Sanchez TKO (submission to punches) Latin American Fighter 1: Border Wars December 11, 2010 2 1:38 Mexicali, Mexico

[94]

Mixed martial arts exhibition record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 4–0 Josh Samman Submission (rear-naked choke) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen April 9, 2013 (air date) 1 4:03 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States TUF 17 semi-final.
Win 3–0 Collin Hart TKO (punches) March 26, 2013 (air date) 1 0:33 TUF 17 quarter-final.
Win 2–0 Bubba McDaniel Submission (rear-naked choke) February 17, 2013 (air date) 2 2:39 TUF 17 elimination round.
Win 1–0 Kito Andrews Decision (unanimous) January 22, 2013 (air date) 2 5:00 TUF 17 preliminary round.

[95]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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