Dana White does not believe Kelvin Gastelum can make 170 pounds

Ultimate Fighter 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum was forced to move back up to the middleweight division after missing weight twice as a welterweight.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

He moved back up to the middleweight division on Saturday night at UFC 188 and scored an impressive win over Nate Marquardt.

While Gastelum may want to return to welterweight, UFC President Dana White does not believe that the Ultimate Fighter winner can make 170 pounds. White expressed his feelings on the situation at the UFC 188 Post Fight Press Conference.

“I love this kid and he is such a great fighter,” White said. “First of all, he goes in with a kid like Marquardt and stands right in the pocket with him. He stands with him. His standup looked great tonight, but I do not believe he can make 170. I honestly do not believe he can make 170. He has done nothing to prove he can make 170 pounds and when he doesn’t make 170 pounds, it’s dangerous and B it screws a lot of things up around here. He is going to have to get serious and get a nutritionist. He did nothing to show in this fight here — he had to cut to make 85 and he came in right on the nose. I am the furthest from confident that he is capable of making 170. No matter how much I like him or how much he says he can do it, I do not believe it.”

Is White open to allowing Gastelum to attempt to make 170 pounds? While the door may not be completely closed, it sounds like White wants to see Gastelum remain in the middeweight division.

“He made 185 and he looked great at 185,” he said. “He looked healthy and it did not look like he was going to die at the weigh-ins. He fought great tonight. So if you are me or anybody that remotely cares about the kid, where would you want him to fight? At 185. I get it. He wants to be at 170. He is going to have to do something to get to 170. Training and whatever he has been doing is not cutting it.”

Following the comments by White, Gastelum was asked to respond. He knows that his past does not help his case, but he understands he has to prove to White that he can make 170 pounds in a healthy way.

“Like he said, I have not done anything to prove it,” Gastelum said. “Actions speak louder than words. Now that he said I need to prove it, I am going to prove it. That’s fine.”