Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya both rightfully earned a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus for their epic, back-and-forth middleweight clash at UFC 235, and both men could find themselves walking away with a Fight of the Year award by the new year.
Gastelum bloodied and battered Adesanya in the UFC 235 co-main event but ‘The Last Stylebender’ stole the show in the fifth and final round, dropping Gastelum several times to secure the victory.
Although Gastelum lost the bout, The Ultimate Fighter 17 winner says going to war with Adesanya for five gruelling rounds was one of his proudest moments in the Octagon to date.
“The [Michael] Bisping fight was a good night for me,” Gastelum said in a recent Q&A in Shenzhen, China (h/t Abhinav Kini of The Body Lock MMA). “But you know what? As a fighter, you always dream of going through those wars and having that ‘Rocky’ moment.
“And so, my last fight was kinda that. Although I didn’t win, it was such a back-and-forth battle, I was really proud of the work that I did there. Although it wasn’t the result that I wanted, I think my last fight was one of my favorites.”
Gastelum, 27, will look to spring back into the winners column in his next bout, although no opponent or date has been announced.
Adesanya, who beat Gastelum to win the interim middleweight title, is expected to take on official champ Robert Whittaker in a title unification bout at UFC 243. The highly anticipated pay-per-view is scheduled to take place later this year, October 6 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.