Kelvin Gastelum calls out Anderson Silva after knocking out Vitor Belfort in opening round

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Kelvin Gastelum celebrates after beating Vitor Belfort during their fight night bout in Brazi. (Getty)
Kelvin Gastelum celebrates after beating Vitor Belfort during their Fight Night bout in Fortaleza, Brazil. (Getty)

Kelvin Gastelum was invading enemy territory heading into Saturday’s UFC Fight Night main event against Vitor Belfort.

The fight was taking place Belfort’s home country in Fortaleza, Brazil. This was the first time Gastelum faced someone who had been a world champion. Add in the fact that Gastelum headed into the bout a 3-1 favorite and it’s a recipe for a letdown. He could have easily overlooked Belfort, who had lost three of his last four fights, but had only lost one UFC fight in Brazil.

The danger was there but Gastelum kept it all together and defeated Belfort by TKO at the 3:52 mark of the first round.

About a minute into the fight, Gastelum was playing with fire by trading shots with the former UFC light heavyweight champion. Out of Belfort’s 25 career victories, 18 of them have been in the opening round.

Gastelum’s strategy proved to be the right one when he dropped Belfort by connecting on a right hook followed by a straight left hand. He laid into Belfort, landing vicious ground-and-pound punches. Belfort showed a lot of heart by absorbing those shots and got the fight back to the feet. It didn’t last long though when Gastelum threw two combinations to drop Belfort again. A couple hammerfists later, referee John McCarthy had seen enough.

This is Gastelum’s third career win at middleweight and second consecutive victory in the weight class.

After being forced to move to 185 pounds after struggling to make the welterweight limit, Gastelum has seemed to find a groove. He’s coming off an impressive victory over Tim Kennedy at UFC 206 which sent the Army Ranger into retirement.

Saturday night’s victory moved Gastelum to 14-2. He stated that he wants to continue beating up on the legends of the sport and then make a run at the middleweight title.

“There’s a guy I really want,” Gastelum said to Brian Stann in his post-fight interview. “I’m on a legends ass-whopping tour. June 3rd maybe. Anderson Silva in Rio?”

Gastelum has what it takes to be a star. Fighting and beating guys like Belfort and Silva will put him on the map and lead him to his ultimate destination.