Dana White Reacts to Kelvin Gastelum’s Weight-Cut Struggles

Kelvin Gastelum apologized to UFC executives after failing to make weight for his fight in Saudi Arabia, which was subsequently renegotiated to a middleweight bout, but UFC CEO Dana White expressed disappointment and frustration over Gastelum’s repeated weight-cutting issues.

Kelvin Gastelum spent most of his post-fight interview at UFC Saudi Arabia issuing an apology to executives Dana White and Hunter Campbell. Once again, he struggled to make weight.

Just a day before he was supposed to step on the scale, Gastelum’s team informed opponent Daniel Rodriguez that there was no way he was going to make the contracted welterweight limit. So, what started as a welterweight fight ended up being renegotiated into a middleweight fight on short notice.

Gastelum went on to win a unanimous decision. However, saying sorry wasn’t enough to sway the UFC CEO into forgiving him for this latest incident involving weight cutting in his career.

“I’m not thrilled with Kelvin Gastelum right now,” White said at the UFC Saudi Arabia post-fight press conference. “This guy’s missed weight like three times in his career.”

Technically, Gastelum has now failed to make weight four different times since joining the UFC roster. It’s always surrounded his attempts to compete at 170 pounds.

His first weight miss came back in 2014. That was followed by Gastelum coming in 10 pounds over the welterweight limit for a fight against Tyron Woodley in 2015.

He then had his bout scrapped with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in 2016 after he was unable to make the 171-pound limit for a non-title fight at UFC 205.

Gastelum spent the next few years at middleweight before deciding to return to welterweight. He successfully made weight prior to a loss to Sean Brady this past December, but his struggles came back to haunt him again in Saudi Arabia.

White seemed particularly upset that Gastelum failed to make weight while athletes like Ikram Aliskerov and Antonio Trocoli accepted short notice fights. They flew all the way to Saudi Arabia and still hit the mark without any incident.

“You got kids taking fights on a week’s notice, jumping on cards, coming over here and making weight and Kelvin doesn’t make weight,” White said. “It’s extremely disappointing.”

When Gastelum faced these issues earlier in his UFC career, White demanded he move up to 185 pounds. He declared at the time that the fighter wouldn’t be allowed to compete at welterweight again.

White loosened his stance when Gastelum decided to go back to welterweight for his two most recent fights. But it’s tough to imagine he’s going to get another try after the debacle that unfolded in Saudi Arabia.


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