Following his first-round knockout win over Vitor Belfort in the UFC Fortaleza main event on March 11, Kelvin Gastelum called out former middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
“June 3, I want to go against Anderson, maybe in Rio,” he said during his in-Octagon interview.
During the event’s post-fight press conference at the Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste in Brazil, Gastelum explained why he wants to fight the Brazilian legend.
“I said that I wanted to get a fight that interested me at middleweight, and if I get a fight that interests me at middleweight than I would definitely stay. Anderson is one of those guys that would definitely interest me,” he said.
“It’s a combination of a lot of things. He’s a big name, he’s another legend, and he’s ranked above me. I want to keep moving up the rankings. I want the fights that will eventually lead me to the title shot,” added the 25-year-old contender.
Silva is a future UFC Hall of Fame member. He holds the record for the most consecutive title defenses with 10. He holds the record for the most finishes in UFC title fights with nine, as well as the most finishes by a fighter inside the Octagon with 14. He put together the longest winning streak in the promotion’s history with 16.
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“I want the big fights. I want the fights that will keep moving me up the rankings. I don’t care who I fight, but Anderson is a guy that I respect a lot. He’s a big name. He’s a legend, one of the greatest of all time. Those are the kind of fighters that I want to fight,” said Gastelum. “I don’t want to keep going back. I want to keep going forward.”
If Gastelum doesn’t get Silva as his next middleweight opponent, he plans to return to the welterweight division and seek a top contender bout.
“It’s a fight that interest me. It’s a fight against Anderson. If I can get that fight, I’m going to stay in this division. If not, I’m going to welterweight to fight the number one contender,” he said. “I know that my chances of winning gold are really good at welterweight.”
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