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Kelvin Gastelum didn’t quite get what he wanted in his interim middleweight title bout against Israel Adesanya last weekend but in his first statement released following defeat in the five-round all time classic bout, he says that his pursuit of championship gold isn’t even close to being concluded.

Through four rounds of the UFC 236 co-main event it was a close fight, with both fighters hurting the other on the feet. Adesanya turned up the heat in the fifth to pull away on the scorecards to claim the interim belt and set up a future clash with Robert Whittaker to unify the titles but, writing on Instagram, Gastelum said that he and Adesanya’s paths will cross again a little further down the line.

“I left it all out there. [Adesanya] was the better man last night! Congratulations to him,” Gastleum said.

“I know our paths will cross again! This set back as well as all my other setbacks have made me a better person and mixed martial artist. One thing about me , is I always come back stronger after each loss!! I can’t wait for the future!

“I’m 27 and We’re only getting started! To God be all the glory for all his blessings because he is good ALL the time! The mission 4 Gold continues! See you around folks!”

As for what is next for Gastelum, that remains to be seen. Whittaker and Adesanya are obviously tied up, while Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza is scheduled to face Jack Hermansson. That leaves the possibility of a future clash with Yoel Romero, or even Paulo Costa, both of which would provide further clarity atop the middleweight rankings.

One thing does seem for certain though; Gastelum’s relatively tender age means that he will be there or thereabouts in the conversation at the summit of the 185-pound for quite some time.