Kelvin Gastelum was apologetic following the fastest loss of his career.
The middleweight contender saw his UFC Fight Island 2 co-main event bout opposite Jack Hermansson end in just 78 seconds when Hermansson caught him with a heel hook submission. It was just the second time in Gastelum’s 22-fight career that he’d been finished.
Shortly after, Gastelum, 28, posted a statement on social media saying he was “embarrassed,” but encouraged others not to be discouraged by defeats.
Truly embarrassed guys. I’m sorry. My team, my family @UFC @danawhite @Mickmaynard2. I’m much better than what was shown tonight. Thanks to all my family , my team and my friends for the ongoing support. I love you all.
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so u can know who u are, what u can rise from, how u can still come out of it.
With the loss to Hermansson, Gastelum has now lost three consecutive bouts.
Prior to being finished by Hermansson, the only other time that Gastelum failed to make it to the final bell in defeat was against Chris Weidman in July 2017. Weidman defeated Gastelum by third-round submission.
A former contender at welterweight, Gastelum established himself as a top-10 middleweight after making a permanent move to the division in December 2016. The Ultimate Fighter 17 champion holds wins over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Michael Bisping, and Tim Kennedy (a first-round TKO of Vitor Belfort was later overturned to a no contest when Gastelum tested positive for a marijuana metabolite.)
At UFC 236 in April of last year, Gastelum fought Israel Adesanya for an interim middleweight title, losing by unanimous decision in what was hailed as one of the best championship fights in UFC history.