The UFC‘s first event of 2023 is this weekend and we’ve already seen a main event cancelled. Earlier today, it was revealed that Kelvin Gastelum (17-8) was pulling out of this weekend’s headliner against Nassourdine Imavov (12-3) after suffering a mouth injury due to a knee in training.
With the news, the UFC worked quickly to find a replacement. Fortunately, there was a willing top middleweight contender in Las Vegas who was ready to step in. It was later revealed that Sean Strickland (25-5) would be stepping in to face Imavov on short-notice.
The fight will still be five rounds but it will be contested at 205 pounds. This is actually a welcomed change for Imavov in terms of opponent rankings. Strickland is the higher ranked guy coming off more high-profiled fights. Imavov is riding a three-fight winning streak heading into UFC Vegas 67.
UFC Vegas 67
If there’s anyone that you can count on to be down to fight, it’s Sean Strickland. When thinking about it, he’s the perfect guy to step in and take this fight against Nassourdine Imavov. Strickland is coming off a really tough loss against Jared Cannonier just about a month ago.
It was a razor close split decision loss and after Strickland won six straight fights, he’s now looking at a two-fight losing streak. Fighting a dangerous contender like Imavov is a risk for Strickland. However, there is a big payoff if he wins because he gets right back on the winning path after a close loss.
While I was looking forward to the UFC Vegas 67 headliner as it was originally scheduled, I’m not mad about this replacement at all.