Kelvin Gastelum responded to Shavkat Rakhmonov’s challenge

Kelvin Gastelum responded to Shavkat Rakhmonov's challenge

Former interim UFC middleweight title challenger Kelvin Gastelum, who plans to return to the welterweight division, answered a challenge from Shavkat Rakhmonov, who expressed a desire to welcome him to the division.

“I love this challenge and I appreciate it,” said the American in a video posted on his Youtube channel. “He was a little boring, it would be nice to add a little spice, but I like this fight. These are the fights I need at welterweight. This brings me right back to the action – swimming with the sharks. Swim or sink. I think he is the fifth or sixth number in the division, and I will be in a very interesting position if I win this fight, and I will do it.

“It’s been a couple of weeks since he called. I was on vacation minding my own business, but now it’s time to officially take on this challenge. Shavkat Rakhmonov, I accept your welterweight challenge, and what’s more, I’ll give you a date. Dana White mentioned a big tournament on September 16th in Las Vegas on Mexican Independence Day, and I, as a Mexican American, would like to take part in it. Let’s do it! I accept your challenge, Shavkat!”

Kelvin Gastelum, 31, fought his last welterweight fight in July 2016, defeating Johny Hendrix via unanimous decision. In April this year, Kelvin Gastelum got his career back on track after two losses with a unanimous decision over Chris Curtis, and currently continues to occupy eleventh place in the UFC middle division rankings.

28-year-old Shavkat Rakhmonov won his fifth stoppage victory in the UFC in March, finishing in the third round with a choke of Jeff Neal.