Kelvin Gastelum was in desperate need of a win heading into UFC 287 and, after three hard-fought rounds, he got one to get his rollercoaster career back on the rails.
Gastelum had lost five of his last six outings heading into his bout with Chris Curtis, and many believed that defeat in Miami would have spelled the end of his UFC career. And Gastelum fought with the urgency of a man who knew his career was on the line as he pushed the pace early against Curtis.
The former middleweight title challenger held sway through the first and second rounds before Curtis put his foot on the gas in the third, but couldn’t prevent Gastelum from running out the unanimous decision victor, with two judges scoring the bout 29-28 and the third somewhat surprisingly awarding all three rounds to Gastelum for a 30-27 scorecard.
Elsewhere on the preliminary card, middleweight prospect Joe Pyfer picked up the highest-profile win of his career to date with a first-round TKO of seasoned submission specialist Gerald Meerschaert. It took Pyfer just three minutes, 15 seconds to finish his man with strikes to claim back-to-back first-round finishes since his arrival in the UFC. He also improved his career record to 11-2.
The other two preliminary card bouts showcased the women’s strawweight division, with Luana Pinheiro and Loopy Godinez both picking up split-decision victories over big-name opposition. Pinheiro edged Michelle Waterson-Gomez, while Godinez outpointed Cynthia Calvillo.
The early prelims featured a trio of bouts, with Ignacio Bahamondes defeating Trey Ogden via unanimous decision in their 160-pound catchweight matchup, while Sam Hughes edged Jaqueline Amorim on the scorecards via unanimous decision. The first finish of the night came courtesy of Steve Garcia, who finished Shaylian Nuerdanbieke via TKO 36 seconds into the second round of their featherweight contest.
UFC 287: Official results
- Kelvin Gastelum def. Chris Curtis via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Luana Pinheiro def. Michelle Waterson via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Joe Pyfer def. Gerald Meerschaert via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:15
- Loopy Godinez def. Cynthia Calvillo via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
- Ignacio Bahamondes def. Trey Ogden via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Steve Garcia def. Shaylian Nuerdanbieke via TKO (body kick and punches) – Round 2, 0:36
- Sam Hughes def. Jaqueline Amorim via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)