After engaging in a hard-hitting boxing battle with former champ Johny Hendricks, Kelvin Gastelum emerged from the prelims of UFC 200 with the most impressive performance and victory of his career.
UFC 200 is being held tonight (July 9, 2016) at the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada.
The event will be the first that the organization has hosted at T-Mobile Arena, which opened in April 2016. It takes place during the UFC’s annual International Fight Week and marks the second time the UFC has held host three events in consecutive days.
Johny Hendricks vs. Kelvin Gastelum took place on the preliminary card which aired on Fox Sports 1.
Lots of boxing at a high pace from both men to begin the contest. Hendricks was the one coming forward, but Gastelum circled away and landed 1-2’s with relative ease. Hendricks couldn’t seem to stop it. Finally, Hendricks started to show the effects of the blows and seemed to be slightly stunned, but he was able to tie Gastelum up with a clinch and push the fight to the cage. Unfortunately for Hendricks, he couldn’t hold the position and Gastelum went back to landing the 1-2. Hendricks had his moments, but round one belonged to Gastelum.
Hendricks was frustrated entering the second round, and through some wild hooks that missed badly. Gastelum, on the other hand, stayed measured and continued to work behind his jab and sprinkle in kicks. Hendricks caught a leg, though, before getting a brief takedown. Back to standing, each man started throwing a large volume of punches. Johny was looking better now, but Gastelum wasn’t slowing down. The action remained consistent for the remainder of the round. That stanza was close but was much better for Hendricks than the first.
The action picked right back up at the beginning of the third with the fighters throwing hook after hook. Gastelum was pressing forward and looked to be gaining an advantage over a fading Hendricks. Hendricks continued to throw but was hitting a lot of air. Gastelum sprinkled in some kicks and stuck with the jab and hooks. Hendricks finally found some success with his left hand while also looking for a takedown. Kelvin answered with a sprawl and elbows to Henricks’ ribs before breaking the clinch and moving away. Gastelum did slip for a moment after a takedown attempt of his own but was up in time to engage in a flurry before the end of the fight.
In the end, Kelvin Gastelum picked up the most important victory of his career by outboxing former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks with scores of 29-,28, 30-27, 30-27.