Kelvin Gastelum returned to Brazil and earned a career-defining victory, coming out on top via split decision over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza Saturday night at UFC 224.

Gastelum, a former Ultimate Fighter winner, improved to 15-3 overall with a no-contest in his career. This past November, he knocked out former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping.

“I expected this kind of fight,” he said. “This was a war and one of the many scenarios I played out in my mind. The ground game (was a challenge). He’s a specialist on the ground but it was positions I prepared for. I responded well and did what I was trained to do.”

Back in early 2017, Gastelum fought Vitor Belfort in Brazil with the bout being ruled a no-contest. He had originally scored a TKO victory over Belfort before being submitted by Chris Weidman.

“I was definitely tired after the first and even he was,” he said. “It was a high-paced round. It took a lot of energy.”

“I’ve been pretty active in my career but I feel like I should be next in line,” Gastelum said. “Later this year in Madison Square Garden.”

Current UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is set to defend his belt against Yoel Romero.