It’s official – Anderson Silva will fight Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 212 on June 3rd in Rio de Janiero.
The news was confirmed Tuesday night by ESPN combat sports journalist Brett Okamoto.
Just confirmed Anderson Silva vs. Kelvin Gastelum is official for UFC 212 on June 3. First reported in Brazil.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 14, 2017
The 25-year-old Gastelum requested this fight following his first round TKO victory over another Brazilian legend, Vitor Belfort, last week and the promotion have delivered it to him.
The former welterweight has been on a tear since being forced to move up a division due to weight cutting issues, with back-to-back stoppage victories over two longtime middleweight contenders in Belfort and Tim Kennedy. While undersized, the 5’9” Gastelum has been able to utilize accurate striking and superior speed to best his larger foes thus far.
The upstart young contender could be in for a nasty surprise if he attempts to strike aggressively with ‘The Spider’ however, who even at his advanced age poses a threat on the feet to any fighter.
Silva is coming off of a close decision win over Derek Brunson in his last fight, which brought an end to a four fight winless run for the man once considered the deadliest striker in all of MMA. He looked a shadow of his former mesmeric self in recent fights, but still retains the ability to end a fight at any time, as his near KO of current middleweight champion Michael Bisping in February of last year demonstrated.
With Gastelum’s combination of polished boxing, toughness and endless cardio, matched up with Silva’s sniper-like striking and mind games, this clash will be a highly-anticipated addition to the Pay-per-view card, which will be headlined by a featherweight title clash between champion José Aldo and interim titlist Max Holloway.