Kelvin Gastelum has accepted the challenge thrown by Shavkat Rakhmonov, expressing his enthusiasm for the welterweight fight. Gastelum, who recently announced his return to the 170-pound division after competing in the middleweight class for seven years, commended Rakhmonov’s callout on Twitter. The matchup with the No. 5 ranked welterweight will mark Gastelum’s comeback in the division.
Gastelum, known for his impressive performances as an Ultimate Fighter winner and former interim title challenger at middleweight, acknowledged the appeal of facing Rakhmonov due to his standing in the welterweight division and exciting fighting style. Rakhmonov boasts an undefeated record of 17 wins, all of which have come by stoppage. Gastelum sees the fight as an opportunity to hand Rakhmonov his first loss and add a significant victory to his own record.
The Mexican-American fighter went on to propose a specific date and venue for the bout, suggesting a Mexican Independence Day event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on September 16. Gastelum expressed his pride in representing his heritage and eagerly accepted Rakhmonov’s challenge for the proposed date.
While Gastelum acknowledged the difficulty of the matchup, he believes his stylistic advantages will pose significant problems for Rakhmonov. Gastelum described Rakhmonov as a relentless and aggressive fighter, but he plans to capitalize on his opponent’s tendencies and either land powerful strikes or secure a takedown and submit him. Despite Gastelum’s recent struggles in the middleweight division, he is confident in his abilities and sees himself as a challenging and unfavorable matchup for Rakhmonov.
With both fighters aiming to make their mark in the welterweight division, their clash promises an exciting battle between two talented athletes. Gastelum’s acceptance of the challenge sets the stage for an intriguing showdown as he looks to revitalize his career at 170 pounds.