On this season's Ultimate Fighter, Kelvin Gastelum shocked many by beating Jon Jones' training partner Bubba McDaniel with a rear naked choke. He talks to Fox News Latino about growing up with a single mom, his Latino support and Arizona becoming a hotspot for mixed martial arts.
FOX NEWS LATINO: You had a big fight a few weeks ago. Well, you had it weeks ago, but it aired on television on the Ultimate Fighter recently. Johnny “Bones” Jones’ No. 1 guy, Bubba McDaniel, versus you and you upset him.
KELVIN GASTELUM: Yeah. Fortunately for me, yeah. Before the fight I’m, I’m pretty nervous, but I was pretty confident in myself, so. And, and Gerald and the coaches were all great in helping me prepare for the fight.
FNL: You’re the youngest guy on the show. How old are you right now?
GASTELUM: Twenty-one. I turned twenty-one last October.
FNL: So you’re twenty-one years old, you’re in the Ultimate Fighter house and you deliver. What’s your family think?
GASTELUM: Obviously my family is super excited and proud of me. I wouldn’t have it any other way, man.
FNL: I know you guys are done taping, you’re not going to tell me what happened but tell me about the experience.
GASTELUM: The overall experience was great. You know, I had great teammates, had great coaches, good team camaraderie.
FNL: UFC president Dana White is really happy with this set of fighters compared to the last season of The Ultimate Fighter with Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin, where nobody fought on the Finale card. There was speculation that he was going to have everybody fight on this one and we’re expecting you to probably be one of those guys. Is that set?
GASTELUM: Nothing official yet, Dana did promise everybody a year’s contract, so, that’s all I have to say about that.
FNL: You were raised by a single mother, your mother’s from Mexico, is that correct?
FNL: She apparently came over here with not much.
GASTELUM: She came over here, she knew no English. She came here, you know, to provide a better life. Now her English is actually pretty good but growing up I had everything I needed, but we didn’t live a lavish life or anything like that.
FNL: What made you decide to get into mixed martial arts, and how did your mom react to that?
GASTELUM: I’ve always wrestled and she’s always been very supportive of whatever I wanted to do.
FNL: She wasn’t worried about you getting hurt?
GASTELUM: Of course she was, but she knew that I would never stop, even if she would have forced me.
FNL: What does it mean to go you to get support from the Latino community?
GASTELUM: It’s awesome, man. It’s been really good. The community here [in Yuma] is very excited, they’re proud as well.
FNL: What do you think about Arizona MMA?
GASTELUM: Oh, man, I think it’s, it’s one of the hot spots for, for MMA right now. There’s a lot of great, great guys coming out of Arizona. One of them is John Moraga who just got a shot with Demetrious Johnson. Obviously you’ve got Ben Henderson, Dominic Cruz came out of Tucson. There’s just a lot of talent coming out of Arizona.
Follow Victor Garcia on Twitter @MrVicGarcia.