Kelvin Gastelum says he's ready for his interim UFC middleweight title fight this weekend against New Zealand's Israel Adesanya despite still being disappointed at not fighting Robert Whittaker.
Gastelum's title fight with Whittaker at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena on February 10 was called off just a few hours beforehand, with the champion requiring emergency surgery after suffering from a collapsed bowel and an internal hernia.
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On Sunday (NZ time), fourth-ranked Gastelum will fight fifth-ranked Adesanya in Atlanta, with the winner expected to fight Whittaker in the second half of the year.
American Gastelum says he's "1000 percent ready" for this weekend's interim title clash against Adesanya.
However, he's not over the heartbreak of the late cancellation of his title fight with Whittaker.
"Oh man, I'm still not over it, it was heartbreaking," Gastelum told AAP.
"When all your thoughts, all your emotions all your work were focused on this one moment, this one day and it gets taken away from you, it just does something to you.
"I felt like I went through a rollercoaster of emotions after that, I had to go through those hurdles for me to able to get re-motivated and reset the mind, reset the body and focus on Israel.
"It was hard for me to do so at first, but we got over those humps, and we've put in the work and 1000 per cent ready for this fight."
Gastelum got a front-row look at Adesanya during the Kiwi's unanimous decision win over UFC legend Anderson Silva in Melbourne.
'I didn't see a lot of pop in Israel Adesanya's punches," Gastelum said.
"I feel like I have the complete opposite style of his, my style is gritty, and sometimes it's not the prettiest style, whereas he's got a really flashy pretty style.
"I feel like my style can overwhelm his because mine is about pressure and power and speed."
Gastelum will concede large height and reach advantages to flamboyant Nigerian- born Adesanya, who has been fast-tracked after winning his first five UFC fights.
"I'm not the fastest, most skilled guy, biggest or strongest guy, but I think what sets me apart is my will to win," Gastelum said.
Join us for live updates of Adesanya vs Gastelum at UFC 236 from 3pm Sunday