BREAKING: Kelvin Gastelum Set to Return to Octagon Action Against a Top Ranked Middleweight at UFC 273

Published 01/13/2022, 1:37 AM EST
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)


UFC is confirming fights thick and fast for their UFC 272 and UFC 273 PPV events. The latest inclusion is a middleweight fight featuring Kelvin Gastelum. The former interim middleweight title challenger will feature on the undercard of UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie on April 9

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Gastelum, who will return to the octagon after almost eight months, will lock horns with #12 Nassourdine Imavov.

 

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Brett Okamoto of ESPN confirmed the report via a social media post. He captioned it, “Middleweight fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Nassourdine Imavov has been added to UFC 273 on April 9, per sources. Big one for Kelvin, and a chance for Imavov to crack the Top 10.”

Imavov, a surging contender in the 185-pounds division, has secured three wins in the premier promotion. His only UFC loss has come against Phil Hawes via a majority decision in 2021. Nonetheless, Imavov will look to beat his toughest opponent yet to cement his position in the top ten.

Gastelum, who has lost his last two fights against Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier, has won just once in his last 6 outings. Despite that, he is still #10 on the charts; but is running out of time to craft a comeback.

Robert Whittaker explains why Kelvin Gastelum cannot perform

Robert Whittaker is one middleweight who fought and contributed to Gastelum’s current losing skid. Ever since Gastelum lost to ‘The Last Stylebender‘, he has only been able to best Ian Heinisch in the past couple of years.

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‘The Reaper’ understands the predicament that Gastelum is in. He believes that his former opponent is suffering because of the fierce competition.

“He’s just in that awkward spot that I think a lot of guys get in, where they find it hard, they’re coming up against the highest tier up at the top of the ladder, but they crush a lot of the dudes coming up onto the ladder. So he’s kind of getting caught in that gatekeeping sort of spot,” Whittaker told MMA Junkie.

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Can Gastelum break out of the gatekeeping spot? Who do you think will win this middleweight bout at UFC 273? Let us know in the comments below.

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Aashish Kumar

248 articles

Aashish Kumar is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism & Mass Communication, this Israel Adesanya fan has interned at reputed media houses and gained valuable reporting experience. Building on that experience, Aashish will look to tap into his love for combat sports and let fans benefit from his passion and journalistic expertise.

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