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Kelvin Gastellum announces drop to welterweight, will face Paulo Thiago

It seems Kelvin Gastelum is taking everyone’s advice. The “Ultimate Fighter” 17 winner, and youngest ever competitor on the history of the show, is making a move down to welterweight.

Weeks removed from his stunning finale victory over the electrifying Uriah Hall, Gastelum announced via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon his intention to drop from the weight he so impressively debuted at during his stint on the show. The decision to drop wightclasses comes after public voicing of his smaller and softer physique than that of his TUF counterparts and the obvious appearance that he could move down in weight with considerable ease.

After being Chael Sonnen’s last pick on the show, the talented grappler plowed through his opposition to earn a spot in the middleweight TUF finale. Finishing Bubba McDaniel, Collin Hart and Josh Samman in dominating fashion, Gastelum then debuted in the shows finale and earned a very impressive decision victory over Hall to become the season’s 17 winner.

Meeting him in his debut will be the hot-and-cold Paulo Thiago. The Brazilian will enter on the heels of an impressive win in his own right over Michel Prazeres at UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Rockhold. After dropping four of his previous five, he displayed the slick skills he gained notoriety for in his initial Octagon triumphs to earn the unanimous nod from the judges. In Thiago, Gastelum faces a very talented grappler and solid striker that will certainly be a true test on where he belongs in the weight class.

The fight will be part of the second UFC on Fox Sports 1 broadcast, which takes place August 28, 2013 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. The event is headlined by top-10 welterweights Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann in a much-anticipated rematch.


Photo by Gary A. Vasquez – USA TODAY Sports

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