When Kelvin Gastelum won the UFC’s reality television series competition, “The Ultimate Fighter,” nearly six years ago as a 21-year-old, he made some sizable assumptions.
“Stack up a couple wins, beat a few contenders, get my title shot and this is a fairytale book ending,” Gastelum recalls.
Reflecting on that mindset now as he nears Saturday night’s UFC 234 pay-per-view main event versus middleweight champion Robert Whittaker in Melbourne, Australia, Huntington Beach-trained Gastelum concedes, “I was immature, young and dumb … it doesn’t quite work out that way.”
If Anderson Silva’s legacy as arguably the most superb technician of mixed martial arts in history has taught anything, it’s to never assume the outcome of his fights.
Chael Sonnen believed he'd ended Silva’s extended UFC middleweight title reign until Silva contorted him in the final seconds and forced him to submit. Who could ever forget that Silva kick to Vitor Belfort’s face? Even in those stunning title losses to Chris Weidman, Silva kept everyone guessing.
So now that he heads to Melbourne, Australia, for Saturday night’s UFC 234 co-main event against New Zealand’s unbeaten elite prospect Israel Adesanya (15-0), the assumption is that Silva (34-8) is being sent there to pass his torch.