Former welterweight contender Kelvin Gastelum will continue his forced journey up the middleweight ladder later tonight (Sat., Mar. 11, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 106 live on FOX Sports 1 from inside Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil, when he takes on former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight king and all-around mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Vitor Belfort. It will mark just the second time in Gastelum’s career that he’s serving as the headlining act and he’ll be doing it on the most hostile soil in the sport.
Regardless of his lack of experience as a main event draw, Gastleum is as talented as they come. Maybe that’s why his evolution inside of the Octagon and in between weight classes is so darn exciting to watch. The former Ultimate Fighter winner has expanded on every aspect of his game over the past few years and showcased his elite potential in a recent TKO victory of Tim Kennedy at UFC 206 this past December. The 25-year-old proved that he can not only out-think established veterans of the sport, but also out-power some of the biggest competitors the 185-pound division has to offer.
All of that said, Gastelum’s recent Octagon efforts will take a backseat if he’s unable to get past the juggernaut punching and kicking of “The Phenom.” While Belfort’s career and physical capabilities have experienced a half-life over the past few years, the 39-year-old Brazilian is still a dangerous entity built on aggression and unparalleled knockout ability. Gastelum has never been stopped in his career, but he often puts himself in positions to be hit (unless you look at his bout opposite Johny Hendricks at UFC 200).
As long as Gastelum can keep his distance in the striking game and wear down Belfort with inside boxing and clinch work, he should be able to escape Brazil with his second-straight win at middleweight. If that happens, Gastelum will be on the fast track to title contention. He may be finally capitalizing on his grand potential and that long-awaited culmination may happen tonight at UFC Fight Night 106.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 106 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.
Source:: mma mania