Kelvin Gastelum wasn’t the favorite to make the finals of The Ultimate Fighter. Heck, he wasn’t even a likely semifinal-round fighter.
Nevertheless, the 21-year-old stunned the MMA world, advancing to the finals and defeating favorite Uriah Hall Saturday night.
Gastelum was the last pick by Chael Sonnen, but scored finishes on his way to facing Hall, who many have called a future UFC champion. After earning the split decision victory, the youngster still seemed in shock on the FUEL TV post-fight show.
“I don’t know if it’s sunk in yet,” Gastelum said. “But everything that I’ve been through, this is the best night of my life.”
The win was also critiqued by UFC president Dana White, who proclaimed his thoughts on Hall and his future, as well, prior to the fight.
“People on Twitter were calling for a fight with (Hall) and Anderson Silva already. And he deserved the hype. The question becomes, ‘Can you handle the pressure?'” White said. “And what it looked like to me was, when he cam out (Saturday), he folded under the pressure like he didn’t even want to be in there. He didn’t even wake up until the second round. Kelvin came out ready to take him out.”