With Nassourdine Imavov pulled from UFC 273 due to visa issues, the UFC has found a replacement opponent for former interim middleweight title challenger Kelvin Gastelum.
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ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that Dricus du Plessis, who was already scheduled to face Anthony Hernandez on the Saturday, 9 April card, will get a opportunity against Gastelum in yet another opponent switch for the South African.
Du Plessis was initially scheduled to fight Chris Curtis, only to be switched to Hernandez after Hernandez’s opponent Albert Duraev withdrew due to injury.
The No 10-ranked Gastelum (16-8, 1 NC) has lost five out of his last six, most recently suffering a decision defeat to top contender Jared Cannonier.
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His only win since 2019 is a decision over Ian Heinisch.
Du Plessis (16-2) joined the UFC over a year ago following stints under KSW and EFC banners.
All of Du Plessis’ 16 wins have come via stoppage, and he’ll be going up against a foe in Gastelum who’s never been knocked out and only submitted by Jack Hermansson and Chris Weidman.
UFC 273 will take place in Jacksonville, Florida with a main event between featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and Chan Sung Jung aka ‘The Korean Zombie’.
Men’s bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling rematches former champ Petr Yan in the co-main.
Updated UFC 273 line-up:
Alexander Volkanovski v Chan Sung Jung – for featherweight title
Aljamain Sterling v Petr Yan – for bantamweight title
Gilbert Burns v Khamzat Chimaev
Mackenzie Dern v Tecia Torres
Irene Aldana v Aspen Ladd
Ian Garry vs. Darian Weeks
Dricus du Plessis v Kelvin Gastelum
Jairzinho Rozenstruik v Marcin Tybura
Ilir Latifi v Aleksei Oleinik
Mickey Gall v Mike Malott
Pat Sabatini v Gavin Tucker
Julio Arce v Daniel Santos
Mark Madsen v Vinc Pichel
Kay Hansen v Piera Rodriguez
Josh Fremd v Anthony Hernandez