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Kelvin Gastelum on Mike Dolce snub: 'It's kind of bittersweet'

Kelvin Gastelum sat down with Ariel Helwani in preparation for his UFC 180 bout with Jake Ellenberger.

After his last bout, Kelvin Gastelum publicly stated that he'd be going back to work with Mike Dolce. An especially difficult weight cut left him at 172.75 lbs (1.75 lbs over the welterweight limit) going into his fight with Nico Musoke and prompted Gastelum to reach out once more for a little help from the UFC's official diet guru. At least, that's what was supposed to have happened.

Initially, ESPN reported that Gastelum and Dolce wouldn't be working together due to a schedule conflict, that would leave Dolce unavailable through UFC 180. And yet, come time for the event, and Dolce is in the building, he's just not working with the TUF 17 winner. Gastelum spoke to Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting about why Dolce wasn't in his corner.

No, he's not working with me. I did contact him before coming out here and I had no response, so I don't know what the deal was.

When prompted as to where Gastelum was bothered by Dolce's snub, Gastelum brushed the idea off... sort of:

I mean, yes and no. He's a busy guy. I don't know what he's got going on in his life. He's got issues... I don't know if he's got issues, or other, important things going on. So, I mean, it doesn't bother me much. But, yes it does, because I wanted the help and now he's here, but it's kind of bittersweet, I guess.

That doesn't mean that Gastelum has had trouble with the cut, however:

I'm feeling great. I've only got a few pounds left to lose and I'm still eating, I'm still drinking water and feel 100%.

When asked if he'd make 170 on Friday, his answer was short and succinct:

Yeah, no problem.

Of course, just because Dolce isn't working with Gastelum, that doesn't mean he's short on advice for one of the UFC's top welterweight prospects. He spoke to Fox Sports about where he felt Gastelum should really be fighting, and why he had been having trouble making weight:

"He needs to show more discipline in the offseason," Dolce said. "Once he does that I think he'll be an amazing welterweight. But honestly, I truly believe Kelvin should really be a lightweight."
"Kelvin gets really far out of shape and it's hard for him to pull it back together," Dolce said. "I think he strays from his diet and starts his weight cut too close to the fight. He doesn't give himself enough time. ... I think if he gains some professional maturity, he'll grown into that [welterweight] division."