UFC 224 (May 12, 2018)
Kelvin Gastelum Vs Jacare Souza
Winner – Kelvin Gastelum Via Split Decision
Today was absolute madness for hardcore fight fans.
From Glory 53 all the way through to UFC 224, everything about today was incredible. With countless finishes and a plethora of great fights taking place today, it is hard to focus on just one. That being said, for me personally, it is hard to look past the incredible fight that was Kelvin Gastelum Vs Jacare Souza.
The fight got off to a relatively fast start, with Gastelum showing some hesitation as Jacare tried to force the fight to the ground. Kelvin was able to show solid takedown defence early but struggled to create separation from the aggressive and fresh Jacare Souza. After some frustrating exchanges along the fence — including eating punches from a hopping Gastelum — Jacare chose to dive for a leg lock, from which he swept and began to smother Kelvin before eventually mounting him. Now with the round well and truly in the bag and less than 90 seconds left on the clock, Jacare transitioned into an arm-bar attempt, forcing Gastelum to defend until the end of round one.
Unable to finish the fight in the first, Jacare entered the second round visibly drained. Gastelum, on the other hand, entered the round frustrated by his performance in the first but clearly the fresher of the two fighters. With a win in round 2 now essential, Kelvin fought urgently and calmly — staying within striking distance of Jacare as he began to put together some combinations and land his favoured straight left. Jacare, although visibly slower, held his own and landed multiple shots on the seemingly unshakable chin of Gastelum. The round came to a close with Jacare visibly fatigued, to the point that he was unable to make it to his stool unassisted.
Then came round three. Now fighting with nothing but pure heart and toughness, Jacare continued to stand his ground and land shot after shot on the now tiring Gastelum. But it was too little too late for Jacare, as Kelvin continued to walk through the majority of his shots unfazed while throwing and landing more strikes of his own. The fight ended with both men having given a tenacious and respectable performance. The judges gave Kelvin Gastelum the win Via Split Decision.
This win has now placed Kelvin Gastelum as the number one contender in the Middleweight division with him likely facing the winner of the upcoming bout between the champion Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero. Although an upset win by Yoel Romero would likely result in a trilogy bout between the pair, forcing Gastelum to take a fight in the interim. The potential matchup between Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum is by far the most enticing Middleweight fight currently available to the UFC.