Kelvin Gastelum isn’t trying to overlook Jack Hermansson at UFC Fight Night 172 but the former UFC interim middleweight title challenger is already focusing on a rematch with Liverpudlian Darren Till, whom he dropped a lackluster split decision to back in 2019 at UFC 244.
Gastelum explained to reporters during a pre-fight media scrum that he has overcome some mental demons he feels were holding him back in the Till and Adesanya fights and that he would love a rematch with ‘The Gorilla’.
“I’m actually in a really good place, mentally and physically, which really wasn’t the case for my last two fights,” Gastelum said, per MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin. “I’m not putting any excuses. There’s a lot of things that go behind the scenes for a lot of fighters but it’s in the past, it’s neither here nor there.
“Now I’m in a good place mentally, physically. I feel really good coming into this fight. I battled [my demons], I conquered them, and here I am, ready to go.”
“I thought I wanted a rematch before,” Gastelum said when addressing the Darren Till loss. “I lost to guys like Neil Magny. I lost to Tyron Woodley. I felt like maybe I’d like to have a rematch with those guys. But the feeling that I got after fighting Till, I’ve never wanted a rematch more than I want that. I would love to run that back.
“All respect to Darren Till. He had a great, phenomenal game plan that night. He beat me fair and square. But anybody that knows me, anybody that knows my style and that has seen me in my fights in the past, knows that wasn’t me fighting at 100 percent. So I’d love to be able to run it back.”
Gastelum is on a two-fight skid and will look to spring back into the winners column at UFC Fight Night 172, where he will take on Hermansson in the co-main event. UFC Fight Island 2 takes place later tonight, July 18, at the Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.