Getting Back on Track in Long Island

ufc-fox25Mixed Martial Arts has come a long way in the last 20 years as it has evolved from the prize fighting held in a basement only on pay per view.

Those years saw little to no rules in place and that is how the organisers wanted it as they simply wanted to see people fight and find out who the toughest person was regardless of size or skill.

Those days are long gone though as the UFC is now on the fringe of the major leagues in North America and has become a regular point of conversation on sports talk shows.

With that evolution into a truly professional sport, the environment has begun to change as well.

There are still plenty of fighters who come into the UFC and take the world of fighting as a part-time job, some have little choice in the matter.

More than ever though fighting is becoming a serious athletic job and fighters are becoming a lot more like their NFL or NHL counterparts.

They are taking things seriously and like their other athletic counterparts are becoming true professionals in the sport.

That evolution is also created a different set of expectations for these athletes and the level of forgiveness is dropping away fast.

The UFC is by far the biggest promotion in the game and with that comes a lot of people that want to join the roster.

It makes more fighters expendable as you really need to perform to stick with the UFC and along with that performance is that certain level of professionalism that they have come to expect.

Some fighters know this all too well as they have seen their lack of professionalism cost them a spot on the UFC roster.

One fighter that got close to that same fate was Kelvin Gastelum who had a lot of issues with his level of professionalism.

Gastelum came into the UFC as the youngest winner of The Ultimate Fighter ever and he looked like he could begin to make some noise in the welterweight division.

The skills he possessed were great and his age meant that he was only going to get better and potentially become a champion.

It seemed like that was a sure future for him until he started to slip and began missing weight on a consistent basis.

It is a massive issue in MMA and it is one of the biggest professionalism issues in the sport as that is a part of the job of a fighter, to make the weight.

Showing is how they get half of their pay and they lose that pay if they cannot make weight for the fight.

It continued to happen for Gastelum and soon he became a young fighter with weight issues, which meant that there were going to be a lot of fighters not wanted to take a fight against him for fear that he might not even make the weight.

The options were limited for the young star as he either learned to make welterweight or move up to middleweight for the easier weight cut or find himself out of the UFC.

He decided to move up and began a run in the division until he failed a drug test for marijuana and had his win against Vitor Belfort turned into a no contest.mma-sidebar.fw

It was another example of his lack of professionalism and another knock on him that was going to keep him further from the title.

He was looking to reset and become the professional that he needs to be if he wants to fight for the title.

To do that he would need to beat a former champion in Chris Weidman who himself was looking for a reset after three straight losses.

If Gastelum could beat the former champ in his hometown things were sure to turn towards a title run.

He had all of the skills but would need to overcome the wrestling of the New Yorker to get the very important win.

That turned out to be the key in this fight as Weidman constantly looked for the takedown while Gastelum failed to prevent the fight from going to the mount.

Gastelum still had the ability to get the fight back standing after the takedown and he certainly wasn’t easy to keep on the mat.

Weidman continued his strategy though and eventually, it would pay off as he locked in a very tight arm triangle in the third round.

It was too much for Gastelum and despite fighting to get out of the submission it was just in too tight.

Weidman took the win and set himself back on the right track towards regaining his UFC middleweight title after breaking a three-fight win streak.

For Gastelum, the fight was a big step up in competition and he simply didn’t have it on that night.

He still made weight and for now didn’t have any other issues in his camp meaning he may have just figured things out better than ever before.

He is still young and has the time to regroup and learn from the loss as long as he can stay professional throughout the rest of his career.

ufc-fox25

ufc-fox25

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