During the UFC 225 post-fight press conference, Dana White revealed that Kelvin Gastelum was supposed to be a back-up for either Robert Whittaker or Yoel Romero, should I either one fail to make it to fight night for whatever reason. But according to the UFC president, Gastelum was unable to do it due to “personal issues.”
“He should have been the backup here tonight when (Romero missing weight) all went down. He couldn’t do it,” White said (via MMA Weekly). “He’s got some personal issues that he seriously needs to take care of. Some s—t that he needs to get together and handle quick.”
Gastelum was only able to respond to White’s comments more than two weeks later, during Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour. The TUF 17 alum admitted that he was left scratching his head upon hearing these statements.
“I was dumbfounded,” Gastelum told Luke Thomas (via MMA Fighting). “Because I don’t know where those comments are coming from. I just figured he was upset over me not taking the fight a day-and-a-half before.”
According to Gastelum, the UFC had already been reaching out to him to be a possible replacement for either fighter. But when negotiations fell through due to unmet monetary demands, he instead opted to go on vacation in Mexico.
Gastelum also disclosed that he did get another call from the UFC during the Wednesday of fight week, since company officials were already concerned that Romero may not make the 185-pound limit. However, he was weighing at least 200 pounds that day, and ultimately deemed it impossible to have a safe weight cut and make the mark in a day and a half.
“I looked down at my belly and I’m like, ‘No, I don’t think I can do this in a day and a half,’” Gastelum said. “In a day and a half’s notice while I’ve been out drinking and eating, I probably would have been in the hospital if I would have tried that.”
From his end, Gastelum is now looking to have a dialogue with White to clarify these statements and see what is in store for him.
“I would love to sit down and see what those comments are about. I just haven’t reached out to him about it,” Gastelum said. “Eventually, I want to sit down with him and talk to him and meet with him and see what the future holds.”