The MMA world didn’t think much of Kelvin Gastelum entering the Ultimate Fighter 17, viewing the youngster as an undersized 185er without much experience or technique to rely on. Of course, those opinions quickly changed as Gastelum ran through opponents and ultimately emerged as the season’s champion, outpointing favorite Uriah Hall in a closely-contested final.

Gastelum will have a chance to impress fans once again when he battles Brian Melancon at UFC Fight Night 27, though in a division more suited to his 5’9” frame.

“I feel fantastic – my weight has dropped, and I feel faster and stronger. You’re going to see a whole different Kelvin Gastelum than you’re used to,” said the 21-year old in an interview with MMAJunkie. “The hardest part was getting used to the meals. I’m used to eating whatever I want, and this is the first time I’ve had to follow a strict diet. I sneaked in a couple treats for myself every now and then, but overall I stuck to it pretty good. My weight’s on track right now, and I’m going to be ready to go on Wednesday.”

Not only will Gastelum be prepared for the meeting with Melancon but he’ll be out for blood too. As Gastelum explained, it’s nothing personal – he simply wants to prove he belongs in the Octagon.

“Every fight I go in trying to knock the guy out or submit him. The Uriah Hall fight was the only fight of my career to go to a decision. Going down to 170, I want to make a statement and really put on a show and put Melancon down, whether it be a knockout or submission,” the confident competitor stated.

The 6-0 Gastelum has two submissions and three knockouts to his credit. Comparably, Melancon is 7-2 and on a two-fight winning streak. Fans can catch their fight on the main card set for FOX Sports 1.