Kelvin Gastelum accepts Shavkat Rakhmonov’s callout: “Stylistically I’m horrible for him”

By Cole Shelton - June 20, 2023

Kelvin Gastelum is ready to fight Shavkat Rakhmonov next time out.

After Gastelum announced he would be making the move to welterweight, Rakhmonov quickly called him out on social media. Although Gastelum did not immediately respond as he was on vacation, the TUF 17 winner has said he wants that fight and hopes it can happen on the Mexican Independence card on September 16.

“I like the callout, I appreciate the call out. I thought it was a little boring. He could have added a little spice to it, but I like the fight. These are the kind of fights that I want in the welterweight division,” Gasetelum said on his YouTube channel. “This puts me right in the mix, swimming with the sharks. It’s either sink or swim. I like this fight. I think he’s ranked No. 5 or No. 6 in the welterweight division. This puts me up there with some really fun fights, given I win this, which I will… I accept, Shavkat Rakhmonov, your challenge at 170 pounds, and not only that, I’ll give you a date.

“Dana was talking about doing a huge Mexican Independence Day event in Las Vegas, which happens to be Sep. 16 on the dot, and me being an outstanding Mexican-American, I would gladly represent where my people have come from and where we’re going. September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena, wherever it may be, as your man in Kazakhstan would say, GGG, big drama show. Let’s get it on. I accept, Shavkat,” Kelvin Gastelum continued about Shavkat Rakhmonov.

Kelvin Gastelum, UFC

“I accept your challenge, I like this fight, I like this fight because the man is non-stop action,” Gastelum added. He is either getting hit or giving the hit. He’s got a 100 percent winning rate, he is undefeated at welterweight, been on a tremendous trajectory in the division, making lots of headlines, and I would love to be the one to put that one mark next to his 16-0. 16-1. September 16, let’s make it happen. Shavkat, I officially accept your challenge.”

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Kelvin Gastelum says what makes this fight so intriguing for him is wanting to derail Shavkat Rakhmonov’s hype. As well, he knows a win over Rakhmonov gets him into the title picture, which is what he wants to do.

“This is the type of matchup that I want. I think stylistically I’m horrible for him. He comes forward, he’s very sloppy sometimes, and I’m going to be able to capitalize on that. I’m either going to be able to land these two (fists) or take his ass down and submit him. I don’t know which way I’ll win,” Gastelum continued about Rakhmonov’s callout. “I’m not going to sit here and lie and say he’s not a difficult opponent, because he is. The man can take a beating. But, I can’t wait to be the one to actually put the 1 next to his undefeated record. I just think I’m a horrible matchup. He comes forward too much, he’s going to run into these (hands). These are the type of matchups I want and that I like. Like I said, it puts me right back into contention.”

Although Kelvin Gastelum accepted Shavkat Rakhmonov’s callout, whether or not the UFC will make the fight is to be seen.


Kelvin Gastelum Shavkat Rakhmonov UFC