Sherdog’s Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings - Gastelum in the Middle of Things
By: Sherdog.com Staff Nov 27, 2017
Maybe you still think Kelvin
Gastelum is an elite welterweight with an extra 15 pounds on
him, and you may be right. However, regardless of whether or not
Gastelum ever makes 170 pounds again, this update of the official
Sherdog rankings has him right in the middle of things at 185.
Gastelum’s 2017 campaign has been complicated, to say the least.
Forced up to 185 because of his constant battle with the scale at
welterweight, “The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner met faded Vitor
Belfort in March, destroying him in less than four minutes to
set up a potential June showdown with another Brazilian legend in
Silva. Unfortunately, Gastelum tested positive for cannabinoid
metabolites, voiding his Belfort victory and nixing the Silva
contest. Instead, Gastelum was rebooked for July, headlining UFC on
Fox 25 against former middleweight king Chris
Weidman, a man he nearly knocked out in the first round before
succumbing to an arm-triangle choke in the third. The UFC opted to
rebook the Silva contest for Nov. 25 to headline its mainland China
debut, but naturally, knowing Gastelum’s fortunes, “The Spider” was
then flagged for a potential drug violation by the U.S. Anti-Doping
As they say, though, all is well that ends well. Instead of Silva,
Gastelum wound up taking on a more relevant opponent at
UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai: recently deposed middleweight
Bisping. Even better for Gastelum -- and certainly worse for
the UFC’s self-regulatory reputation -- “The Count” was just three
weeks removed from a violent title loss to Georges St.
Pierre, making the Arizona native’s job that much easier.
Gastelum needed just 2:30 to remove Bisping from consciousness and
join our middleweight rankings at No. 6.
Bisping, who began the month as the No. 1 middleweight in the world
and a part of our pound-for-pound list, tumbles to the seventh spot
in defeat. Coincidentally, Gastelum’s ascent from our bubble list
has also knocked Silva from the 10th spot to the “other contender”
periphery. The middleweight contenders list is also where we find
the lone other change in this update: With his Nov. 19 win over
four-time Olympic judoka Daniel
Kelly in Sydney, Elias
Theodorou is now 6-2 in the Octagon and our figurative 15th man
at 185 pounds.