Kelvin Gastelum will be stepping in to face Donald Cerrone at UFC 205 after Cerrone’s original bout with Robbie Lawler fell off:


A Sudden Twist

After beating Johny Hendicks at UFC 200, Kelvin Gastelum wanted to fight either Robbie Lawler or Donald Cerrone. Unfortunately, he was booked to a fight against Jorge Masvidal for UFC Mexico. Lawler and Cerrone would later be booked to a UFC 205 date. But in a sudden twist of fate, Robbie Lawler pulled out of the bout, leaving Cerrone without an opponent for the UFC’s New York Debut. With the UFC intent on keeping Cerrone at the event, they scrambled to find an opponent. And Kelvin Gastelum was the perfect choice.

Fresh off beating former champion Hendricks, Gastelum is the former The Ultimate Fighter Season 17 winner. He has a record of 12-2 with 4 knockouts and 4 submissions. Although he is only 2-2 in his last 4 bouts, his victory over Hendricks pushed him up to #5 in the current UFC welterweight rankings.

After winning his first 10 bouts, Gastelum suffered a split decision loss against current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 183. Two fights later, Gastelum again lost by split decision to Neil Magny before rebounding with a resounding win over Hendricks last July. Dubbed as Mini Cain for his resemblance to former UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez, Gastelum owns notable victories over Uriah Hall, RIck Story, Jake Ellenberger, Nate Marquardt and Hendricks.

Riding High

Gastelum will be facing a red hot Donald Cerrone at UFC 205. Since moving up to welterweight, Cowboy has been riding high up in his saddle. Cerrone’s won three in a row all by stoppage. In his last two victories, Cowboy became the first fighter to stop both Patrick Cote and Rick Story on strikes. Cerrone’s success jumped him to #7 in the UFC welterweight rankings and he was looking to challenge Lawler to get a shortcut to the top.

Although there hasn’t been any official statement on Lawler’s withdrawal, rumors are saying Robbie wanted to take more time off from his 1st round KO loss to Woodley. If that is the case then it’s a little ironic because it was Lawler himself who was literally begging UFC President Dana White a quick turnaround fight after UFC 203.

Odds on Favorite

Cerrone opened as a -175 favorite against Gastelum’s +135. That may sound surprising given Cerrone has only fought thrice as a welterweight and the 5th ranked Gastelum has been fighting at that weight class much longer. However, Cerrone has looked very impressive as of late and has shown little or no weakness during his welterweight run.

Of the four matches officially booked for UFC 205, The Cerrone-Gastelum bout has the closest odds. Inside the Octagon, it is also likely to be a back and forth bout as well.

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