Kelvin Gastelum medically cleared for UFC return, eyes ‘Joker’ showdown in November

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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender, Kelvin Gastelum, suffered a major setback on his mission for gold by dropping a five-round decision to Israel Adesanya in their UFC 236 showdown last April.

Undaunted, the medically-cleared Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 champ is planning to keep himself afloat in the Top 5 of the division by turning away surging 185-pound veteran, Jack Hermansson, at one of the promotion’s upcoming events in November.

“I’m a little too excited! The doctor just gave me good news and cleared me to fight and start training,” Gastelum wrote on Instagram. “After the war I had with Stylebender I had to make sure to take time off and make sure that when I get cleared, I was physically, brand spankin new. 11 weeks later that day has come and I’m ready to start looking for a return date! And my eyes are set for November.”

The 27 year-old Gastelum (15-4, 1 NC) is ranked No. 4 in the division, one spot ahead of the 31 year-old Hermansson (20-4). “The Joker” is the winner of four straight, including last April’s upset win over Ronaldo Souza.

It will be interesting to see where the winner ends up, if and when this fight ever gets booked, as Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa are expected to collide at UFC 241 this August in Anaheim, two months before Adesanya attempts to unify the titles opposite champion Robert Whittaker.

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