Kelvin Gastelum was able to consistently get the better of Johny Hendricks tonight at UFC 200 en-route to a unanimous decision victory.
Gastelum with an early head kick attempt that comes up short. A brief flurry of punches from him. Hendricks looking to come over the top with the left hand.
Left hand over the top from Gastelum. leg kick for the TUF winner. Another one. Hendricks with a leg kick. Two in return from Gastelum.
one-two for Gastelum. Another punch. He’s started brightly. Another two-piece combo for Gastelum, but then Hendricks fires off a few punches of his own.
Hendricks taking the center of the Octagon. Left connects for Gastelum. Upercut for Hendricks. left hand for Hendricks.
Left hand to the temple for Gastelum, then another one straight down the pipe. Gastelum’s found his rhythm early.
Gastelum with a flurry of left and right hands that snap Hendricks head back. Hendricks moves into the clinch and presses Gastelum against the cage. He lands a few knees and then they get back to striking range.
Leg kick for Gastelum and then backs away from offense coming in return. Left lands for the former champ. Missed punch for Gastelum and Hendricks lands with the left again.
Nice head movement from Gastelum to avoid offense. Some good punches land for Gastelum, but then Hendricks returns fire and tests his opponent’s chin. Competitive exchanges as the round ends.
leg kick and a straight left for Hendricks. He loads up on an overhand that misses. Good left hand for Gastelum. Hendricks with the leg kick again.
Hendricks swoops low and then comes up with a good left hand. Gastelum returns fire though. Straight left for Hendricks. Now one from Gastelum.
Leg kick for Gastelum and then one to the body. Hendricks charges forward with punches and gets into the clinch. He reaches down and tries to wrap up Gastleum’s legs. He gets Gastelum down, but he stands back up. Gastelum still with a body lock, but Gastelum breaks free.
Gastelum pumps out the jab into Hendricks face close to the cage. Hendricks goes back to the clinch, but then moves away.
Gastelum stalking him with the straight left. Hendricks barrels forward with punches. Gastelum coming forward and again Hendricks moves forward quickly winging punches that don’t find the mark this time.
Gastelum with a nice spinning back kick to the midsection. Hendricks comes in aggressively and lands a nice knee to the body before clinching up.
Back to striking range. Gastelum misses with a few punches and Hendricks lands in return.
Gastelum backs Hendricks to the cage and unleashes a series of lefts and rights. BIt of a scrappy exchange in close. Into the clinch for a moment from Gastelum, and then back out.
Three-piece combo from Hendricks, but he swwts thin air. leg kick for Gastelum, and that’s the end of the round.
Hendricks comes forward with punches, but none lands. Nice one-two for Gastelum connects. Another right hand for him and an uppercut.
Right and a left for Gastelum. Push kick. Hendricks misses a huge uppercut. Right hands for Gastelum and then the left. Keen from Hendricks in close.
Couple of rights and then a leg kick for Gastelum. Knee to the body for Hendricks. They clinch up then separate.
Left hand connects for Gastelum. Nice body punch from Hendricks. He goes there again and then upstairs. LEg kick for Gastelum.
Gastelum tags Hendricks chin with a right. Couple of punches from Hendricks, but then he eats a hard punch down the pipe from Gastelum that rocks his head back.
A few jabs for Hendricks in quick sucession. Right and a left for Gastelum. Solid body kick for Hendricks. Gastelum misses on a two-piece and Hendricks tries for a takedown.
Gastelum defending against the cage, but Hendricks is able to suck his legs out. Gastelum immediately back up. Hendricks still in the clinch and Gastelum lands a couple of nice elbows before they separate.
Henricks trying to put together some punches. Gastelum opts to go into the clinch against the cage. Hendricks drives forward and knocks him off-balance, but they get back up.
Final 15 seconds and they both just start slinging heavy leather at each other from close range. Both men throwing caution to the wind as they land punches, but neither finds the killer blow and we’re headed to the judges scorecards.
Gastelum consistently fought at a higher tempo in this match-up and was more accurate with his striking than the former welterweight champion, and he earns himself a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 30-27 x2).
That’s the biggest win of Gastelum’s career so far and should solidify a spot in the welterweight top 10 rankings.
As for Hendricks, he’s now lost three of his last four fights, and together with the fact that he missed weight yet again, he’s on a slippery slope at the moment.