UFC Fight Night 106 Preview

ufc-fn106There is something oddly familiar about the two main event fighters in the next featured fight although they are starting at different points of their careers.

Both know and understand what the path is like in the UFC when you are a young fighter that everyone is claiming can be the new thing.

That adds more pressure and sometimes a lot more scrutiny that can lead to derailing a promising career.

Neither took that path, or are taking that path, but they certainly have had their setbacks despite having plenty of talent.

Vitor Belfort is no longer a young gun in the UFC as he has now taken on the role of one of the veterans of the sport.

Belfort made his UFC debut in 1997 when he was 19-years-old and won the UFC 12 tournament.

He was one of the first superstars in the UFC as his tournament fights at that first event was extremely impressive and exciting.

His lightning fast hands were better than anyone had seen in the cage and his upside was massive as this young star was going to carry new owners to new heights.

He did great things in his career and was always among the contenders and then the controversy started to show up.

That was when Testosterone Replacement Therapy was banned for everyone despite the fact that Belfort had an exemption.

Since he stopped using TRT things have not been quite the same for Belfort as he has remained a top contender but has never really looked the same.

Some may claim that his age and his experiences in the cage have slowed him down like any athlete but some believe that without TRT he is not the same fighter.

Belfort has taken the ride from top prospect in the UFC to a veteran likely on his way out and he will take on a fighter going through that path right now.

Kelvin Gastelum was the youngest fighter to ever win The Ultimate Fighter when he got through a talented group in The Ultimate Fighter 17.

He was impressive throughout the show and beat Uriah Hall in the finale in a fight nobody thought he could win.

It was a great performance throughout the show and as he began his official UFC career there were high hopes.

He continued to win as he began to work his way up the ladder but eventually, he started to struggle.

Throughout the tournament, he fought to be a middleweight fighter and when he became an official UFC fighter he turned his attention to the welterweight division.

That turned out to be a bad decision as Gastelum began to struggle to make weight regularly and quickly gained a bad reputation.mma-sidebar.fw

Like any other fighter who has had those struggles, they become hard to book because nobody knows if they are going to actually fight.

No other fighter wants to take them on because they might go through a gruelling training camp for three months just to sit on the sidelines because their opponent couldn’t make weight.

It was almost the end of what could have been a great career as Gastelum seemed like he was headed to a title when he entered the UFC but began to get on the nerves of the organisation.

Almost out of necessity Gastelum took a fight against Tim Kennedy at middleweight after dropping out of the New York City card due to another weight cut issue.

He won that fight and showed his skills once again in what the UFC hoped was a wake-up call that he should remain in the middleweight division.

Now, hopefully back on track, he takes on a former young star in Belfort in his second straight middleweight fight.

Belfort’s hands are not quite as fast as they used to be but he certainly still brings power to the fight.

Meanwhile, Gastelum just brings a technique and a well-rounded game that could make him a top contender if he ever gets out of his own way.

This could be the start of a big run from Gastelum in the division but he will need to go through someone who knows all too well the path of a young superstar.


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