Kelvin Gastelum accepts ‘Kazakh’ style welcome to welterweight division; responds to Shavkat Rakhmonov call out

Kelvin Gastelum accepts Shavkat Rakhmonov's challenge. Speaks about his strategy against the Kazakh

Kelvin Gastelum accepts ‘Kazakh’ style welcome to welterweight division; responds to Shavkat Rakhmonov call out

Kelvin Gastelum accepts Shavkat Rakhmonov's challenge ( Image source: Getty Images )

Kelvin Gastelum has officially embraced the challenge presented by Shavkat Rakhmonov. Thus indicating his full willingness to make a return to the welterweight division. Gastelum, who has been actively competing in the middleweight division for the past seven years, recently made the decision. He has decided to drop down to the 170-pound weight class for his upcoming fight. In response to Gastelum’s announcement, Rakhmonov, took to Twitter to call out Gastelum as his first opponent.


After carefully contemplating Rakhmonov’s callout, Gastelum expressed his gratitude for the invitation on his YouTube channel. Although he found the callout somewhat lacking in excitement, Gastelum admitted to appreciating the proposed fight. He considers it precisely the type of matchup he desires in the welterweight division. Gastelum mentioned that this particular fight would position him favorably for thrilling potential matchups, assuming he secures a victory.

Despite a slight delay in addressing the callout, Gastelum has now officially accepted Rakhmonov’s challenge. He has even put forth a specific date. Inspired by Dana White‘s plans for an extraordinary event in Las Vegas in September. Gastelum willingly offered to face Rakhmonov precisely on that date at the T-Mobile Arena. Drawing upon the memorable words of Kazakh fighter Gennady Golovkin, Gastelum wholeheartedly accepted the challenge, describing it as a “Big drama show.”

Kelvin Gastelum’s decision to accept Shavkat Rakhmonov’s challenge does not come as a surprise. Given his reputation as a former winner of The Ultimate Fighter and a previous contender for an interim title in the middleweight division. There is no shortage of potential opponents awaiting him in the welterweight division. However, Gastelum finds Rakhmonov particularly enticing due to his standing in the division and his captivating fighting style.


Related: “I made some radical changes”- Kelvin Gastelum seeks a fresh start to his career at Fight Ready

Kelvin Gastelum talks about his callout by Shavkat Rakhmanov

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Kelvin Gastelum talks strategy against his Kazakh counterpart ( Image source: Getty Images )

Gastelum appreciates Rakhmonov’s constant action-packed approach, emphasizing the Kazakh fighter’s unbeaten record and remarkable rate of finishing fights. Rakhmonov has achieved an impressive 17 victories, all by way of stoppage. His most recent was a submission win over Geoff Neal in March. In contrast, Gastelum has faced challenges in recent years, suffering five losses out of six fights in the middleweight division. Nevertheless, Gastelum remains confident. He believes he possesses the tools to pose significant problems for Rakhmonov when they eventually step into the cage together.

According to Gastelum, his stylistic matchup against Shavkat Rakhmonov presents significant difficulties for the Kazakh fighter. With Rakhmonov’s tendency to relentlessly press forward, combined with occasional moments of sloppiness, Gastelum believes he can exploit these openings to his advantage. Whether through striking or grappling, Gastelum is fully prepared to capitalize on Rakhmonov’s weaknesses. While acknowledging the formidable nature of his opponent, Gastelum eagerly anticipates being the one to tarnish Rakhmonov’s unbeaten record. He envisions a victory that would add a blemish to his 16-0 record, resulting in a new mark of 16-1.

With both fighters now committed to the upcoming bout, fight fans can eagerly anticipate an exhilarating clash between two skilled welterweights. Gastelum’s acceptance of Rakhmonov’s challenge serves as a testament to his unwavering determination to make a statement in the division and establish himself among the top contenders.


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