Kelvin Gastelum Q&A: Taking Risks, Meeting Anthony Kiedis and Arresting Gangsters

Kelvin Gastelum Q&A: Taking Risks, Meeting Anthony Kiedis and Arresting Gangsters

Kelvin Gastelum recorded what is likely the biggest win of his professional mixed martial arts career when he knocked out former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping in China last year. Gastelum’s next big test comes May 12 when he meets Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at UFC 224. Tony Reid of caught up with Gastelum to discuss a few things ahead of the fight.

Tony Reid – If you could choose one underrated fight from your career that every MMA fan should see, which fight would you choose and why?

Kelvin Gastelum – “I would say my fight against Brian Melancon. One thing I am particularly proud of in that fight was that it got my career going in the UFC. Most people fail to get their career going and to get that first post TUF win was great. It was really exciting.”

Tony Reid – Can you talk about how your style lends itself to ending the fight before the final bell?

Kelvin Gastelum – “Any opportunity I get to finish I will go for it. That’s what it’s all about, taking those risks, taking those chances and taking advantage of them. That’s just what I do. I take risks. So far it has worked out for me.”

Tony Reid – Who has the heaviest hands of anybody you have fought?

Kelvin Gastelum – “I would say Brian Melancon. He has some heavy, heavy power in his hands. I was a little bit more patient in that fight. I felt his power though.”

Tony Reid – You work as a bail bondsmen when you aren’t spending in the cage. Can you share a story with us from your other job?

Kelvin Gastelum – “I remember bailing out two brothers and they went on the run, they didn’t go to court for their cases. So they has warrants out for their arrests. This was our bond so we had to go arrest these guys. We set them up by calling the girlfriend of one of the brothers and the girlfriend eventually ratted them out. With the help of the girlfriend we set them up to bust them at a gas station. The girlfriend drove them to the gas station and they were met by us in three cars and we rolled up on them. These guys were legit gangsters, so we figured they were pretty dangerous. We had our bulletproof vests on and guns and did it like a drug bust. It was cool.”

Tony Reid – Everyone that watched your career blossoming stint on TUF saw the call you got from Ronda Rousey during your time on the show. What are your thoughts on the swing in public opinion after her appearance on TUF 18 and in the time since?

Kelvin Gastelum – “I think Ronda is just being Ronda. She genuinely didn’t like Miesha. We all learned not to get on her bad side after that. I think she just isn’t willing to be fake, whether she’s on camera or not.”

Tony Reid – Also during your time on TUF you spent time with the one and only Chael Sonnen. Is there a Chael story you can share with us?

Kelvin Gastelum – “Chael is an interesting guy. He is a great guy. He is just one of the nicer guys in the sport. I see him at the events and he is always really nice and respectful to me and my people. I am really grateful to have had him as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter. He is a great coach, a great mentor and a great person. I have a lot of respect for him.”

Tony Reid – What was the pinch me moment early on from the attention you received from your time on national TV on TUF and your early run in the organization?

Kelvin Gastelum – “It has to be going to these events and meeting so many fans and actors, musicians and people like that. You see all kinds of different people and opportunities open up to you. I was at the fights in Sacramento and I went up to The Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis to introduce myself and he said “Hey, I know you! I’m a big fan!” That was really cool. I have been a big fan of his group and now he’s telling me he is a big fan of me. That was a really cool moment.”

Tony Reid – Who are your favorite fighters to watch and why? Conversely, who are your least favorite fighters to watch?

Kelvin Gastelum – “I got the chance to see Georges St. Pierre fight live awhile back. He has always been my favorite fight and someone I always looked up to as I was coming up.”

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Tony Reid
In July of 2008 Tony Reid launched an MMA inspired clothing line that he named Reid Fight Wear. He saw a need in the MMA clothing market for a more classic, clean and timeless design and less of the dated styles seen then. In the process of major life changes, Tony cashed out his 401(k), emptied his bank account and put his heart and soul into building the brand. In August 2009 Tony began writing for TapouT and MMA Worldwide Magazines. There he created Rattling the Cage, an MMA specific news site and home for all of his work. In May of 2012 Reid began writing for Ultimate MMA Magazine, launching an MMA Legends and MMA Officials Series. Also in May of the same year he started appearing regularly on ESPN 92.3 WVSL as the MMA Insider. In early August of 2012 Reid was named General Manager of UFC Fighter Tim Boetsch’s Barbarian Combat Sports in Sunbury, PA. By December 2012 Reid started contributing to Fighters Only Magazine. "The World's Leading MMA and Lifestyle Magazine" is sold in over 30 countries around the world and has the largest reach of any international magazine of its type. In May of 2013 Reid became a monthly segment host on Sirius XM Radio. Appearing the first Thursday of every month on TapouT Radio on SiriusXM (Sirius 92 XM 208) in a segment he created called "On Blast!" where he puts people in the MMA world on notice. In June of 2013 Reid began writing for the UK based MMA Uncaged Magazine. In August of 2013, Reid launched "Rattling the Cage with Tony Reid" a talk radio show he hosted on ESPN 92.3 WVSL "The Valley's Sports Leader". The show aired over 100 episodes and featured some of the biggest and brightest stars in the world of combat sports. It was one of the most successful shows in the station's history. In May of 2016 Reid became a feature writer for FloCombat. In September of the same year Reid began writing for ONE Championship, Asia’s largest global sports media property in history. Reid is happy to now join the team at MyMMANews as a contributor.