Kelvin Gastelum’s next fight will be against Nassourdine Imavov at UFC 273 on April 9th.
The booking comes at a time when the 30-year-old Gastelum is struggling to secure wins in the UFC’s middleweight division, having now lost five of his last six fights.
That downward spiral began with a decision loss in his title fight with Israel Adesanya in April of 2019, with a split decision loss to Darren Till and submission loss to Jack Hermansson following on from that.
A unanimous decision win over Ian Heinisch gave Gastelum some welcome respite, but he has since gone on to lost out on the scorecards to Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier and he’s now desperately clinging on to his No.10 spot on the middleweight rankings heading into this next fight.
As for Imavov, he joined the UFC in October of 2020 and has so far compiled a 3-1 record in the promotion.
That run began with a unanimous decision victory against Jordan Williams, followed by a majority decision loss to Phil Hawes to begin his 2021 campaign.
However, Imavov would then go on to deliver back-to-back wins over Ian Heinisch and Edmen Shahbazyan to secure the No.12 spot on the 185lb rankings.
Gastelum vs. Imavov joins a UFC 273 card that will feature a title fight double-bill, with featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski headlining the show against The Korean Zombie, while bantamweight titleholder Aljamain Sterling rematches Petr Yan in the co-main event.