Kelvin Gastelum has a new opponent for next weekend’s UFC 273 event in Jacksonville, Florida after Nassourdine Imavov was forced to withdraw from their bout due to visa issues.
Now Gastelum will be going up against a short-notice replacement in South Africa’s Dricius Du Plessis, who was originally scheduled to fight Anthony Hernandez on the preliminary portion of the same card.
That’s good news as it means Du Plessis will be in fight shape for the bout as he looks to rack up his third win in a row since joining the UFC back in 2020.
Du Plessis had earned a first round KO win in his Octagon debut over Markus Perez and repeated the feat with a knockout finish against Trevin Giles next time out.
As for Gastelum, he’s coming off back-to-back losses against Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier, but looking back further he’s actually only picked up one victory in his last six fights.
Despite that, it should be noted that he’s consistently been fighting a high level of opposition and the former interim title challenger still holds the No.10 spot on the middleweight rankings.
Nevertheless, it would seem vital that the 30-year-old get a win under his belt at UFC 273 against the unranked but still dangerous Du Plessis to get his career back on track.