All You Need to Know About Kelvin Gastelum’s Coach Rafael Cordeiro

Published 04/15/2021, 5:30 AM EDT


Kelvin Gastelum has stepped up to fight former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker on brief notice. ‘The Reaper’ was initially slated to face Paulo Costa. However, illness forced ‘Borrachinha’ to withdraw. Hence, Gastelum snapped up the opportunity to headline yet another UFC card.

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The duo was previously set for a clash at UFC 234. However, the then champion, Whittaker, had to pull out at the last minute. Now, UFC fans will get to see this bout nearly two years later. Ahead of the electric showdown, we look at the legendary Brazilian coach of Gastelum, Rafael Cordeiro.

Cordeiro has trained several UFC champions over the years and is regarded as one of the best in the business.

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He is the founder of the Kings MMA gym in California, which plays host to several current and former UFC fighters. Apart from that, Cordeiro has even trained ‘Iron‘ Mike Tyson for a considerable period.

Who does Rafael Cordeiro train apart from Kelvin Gastelum?

Cordeiro’s most famous disciple to date has been none other than the greatest of all time, Anderson ‘The Spider‘ Silva. Apart from that, he has trained UFC champions like Mauricio Rua, Rafael dos Anjos, Fabricio Werdum, Lyoto Machida. Former Pride FC champion Wanderlei Silva, also trained under Cordeiro.

Coming to the current UFC roster, Cordeiro trains a lot of the fighters in it. Middleweights Gastelum, and Marvin Vettori, and lightweight contender, Beneil Dariush, are some of Cordeiro’s trainees.

The Brazilian famously won 2012, and 2016 coach of the year honors from the World MMA Awards is a highly respected figure, even among rival fighters.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 17: Kelvin Gastelum poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 17, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

He will have a gigantic task in hand as one of his most famous pupils, Gastelum, is lining for probably his toughest test to date.

Gastelum won over fans with his show of heart and grit at UFC 236 as he fought a five-round war against the current middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, for the interim belt.

Despite his loss, his toughness and skills were on full display. However, he will have to put up the same sort of fight if he is to beat the former champion ‘Bobby Knuckles‘ this weekend. But with a legend like Cordeiro on his side, he will back his chances at outpointing ‘The Reaper’.

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Where does Rafael Cordeiro rank among the best coaches? Let us know.

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Apratim Banerjee

1016 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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