Tim Kennedy was supposed to fight Rashad Evans at UFC 205, but the New York State Athletic Commission had other ideas.
Kelvin Gastelum was supposed to fight Donald Cerrone at UFC 205, but the scale – and the New York State Athletic Commission – had other ideas. So now these two get to fight, with Gastelum doing it at middleweight instead of the welterweight division he can never quite seem to get down to.
Like a Green Beret sniper (his actual day job), Kennedy stands on the outside and picks at Gastelum with kicks, and a minute in switches things up by taking him down and manhandling him. Gastelum doesn’t disentangle himself until a minute and a half is left in the round, but he wades in with punches and – surprise, surprise – actually lights Kennedy up. The horn sounds with Kennedy on the run and trying to stay alive.
The tables have turned dramatically when Round 2 commences, with Gastelum pressuring the hell out of his opponent and Kennedy trying to keep him away with single strikes. He’s only somewhat successful in that regard, as Gastelum gets him down once more and repeatedly knocks his head back in the exchanges. Kennedy has been away from the cage for two years – did he train at all in that time?
Gastelum is just operating at a whole other speed in the third, with his jab sapping Kennedy of zest and his pressure making Kennedy a stumbling wreck. Kennedy is a survivor, but ain’t no one is bulletproof, and the finishing bullets come via Gastelum’s hands tagging him on the chin and Kennedy going down for the TKO.
Results: Kelvin Gastelum def. Tim Kennedy via TKO (Punches) at 2:45, R3.