Kelvin Gastelum Still Has Unfinished Business with Tyron Woodley at Welterweight

Kelvin Gastelum may be one win away from a middleweight title shot but he's not giving up on a return to 170 pounds and a rematch with champion Tyron Woodley

Kelvin Gastelum may be one win away from a middleweight title shot but returning to welterweight is something that will always be a goal for him.

Long considered one of the best prospects at 170 pounds after winning “The Ultimate Fighter”, Gastelum struggled mightily with his weight cuts that eventually led to his move up to middleweight.

Just a week away from his showdown with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC 224, Gastelum says returning to welterweight is something that still lingers in the back of his head and probably always will.

“My eyes in the back of my head, way in the back, I still have welterweight in mind,” Gastelum said this week in Los Angeles.

“I know that I can do it. I know if I do it right, I can do it. I’m just happy where I’m at right now. I’m doing well so I’m happy with what’s going on right now.”

Perhaps the biggest motivating factor for Gastelum was his 2015 fight against future welterweight champion Tyron Woodley that ended in a split decision loss.

Now Gastelum came into that fight a whopping 10 pounds overweight but Woodley still accepted the matchup and what resulted was a back and forth battle over three rounds.

Considering Woodley is now the reigning and defending champion at welterweight, Gastelum would not only like to avenge that loss but he knows deep down that he went with the best of the best at 170 pounds and could have come away with a victory.

“That fight has a splinter in me. It’s like a splinter in my heart,” Gastelum said about the fight with Woodley. “I kind of want to get that fight back, make the weight, make it right.

“In a lot of people’s eyes, including myself, I won that fight.”

First things first, Gastelum will try to get through “Jacare” next weekend and if all goes well, he might be competing for a title at 185 pounds in the very near future.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.