The UFC’s welterweight title shot picture has been a source of widespread discussion lately, and it looks like Kelvin Gastelum could enter the conversation soon…
Gastelum is scheduled to fight Tyron Woodley at UFC 183, and if he takes out the promotion’s #3 ranked welterweight, big things could be in store. Recently UFC boss man Dana White spoke to LaAficion about the undefeated fighter, and when he was asked if Gastelum could secure a title shot on January 31st, he reportedly stated (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“No doubt about it,” White said, “he could fight Lawler for the title this year if he beats Tyron Woodley.”
Now of course, this news could send Rory MacDonald fans into a fit, but it doesn’t necessarily mean Gastelum could leap frog “Ares” into a title fight. White said “this year”, and proceeded to say Gastelum could return to Mexico for another bout, after he defeated Jake Ellenberger there in November. The promotion isn’t expected to do another show in Mexico until this coming November.
Gastelum has worked his way into the promotion’s #7 ranking spot, thanks to a 5-0 run in the Octagon. In addition to Ellenberger, the TUF 17 winnner has defeated Uriah Hall, Brian Melancon, Rick Story and Nicholas Musoke.
Yesterday the UFC announced that Johny Hendricks will battle Matt Brown next, and not champion Robbie Lawler after all. Hendricks-Brown will take place on March 14th in Dallas. MacDonald, meanwhile, is expected to fight Hector Lombard on April 25th, after he was promised a title shot back in October.
It looks like the UFC has postponed plans for Lawler-Hendricks III, since the newly crowned champ doesn’t want to fight until early summer, while the latter wants to fight sooner. The promotion hasn’t officially announced MacDonald-Lombard either, so really, no one knows for certain who is fighting Lawler next.