UFC: Kelvin Gastelum steps in for Paulo Costa to take on Jared Cannonier

The highly anticipated UFC main event between Paulo Costa (13-1) and Jared Cannonier (13-5) is off. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this evening that Costa has withdrawn from the main event that is currently scheduled for August 21st.

This is the second straight UFC main event that Costa has withdrawn from. Costa was originally supposed to fight former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker back in April. However, an illness forced him to withdraw from that matchup.

Kelvin Gastelum (16-7, 1 NC) stepped in for Costa to take on the former UFC champion. Now, Gastelum will be replacing Costa once again. Okamoto reported that Kelvin Gastelum has already accepted the fight and will be taking on Jared Cannonier on August 21st.

New UFC Main Event

This is a big opportunity for the former UFC Ultimate Fighter winner Kelvin Gastelum. As mentioned, the last time we saw Gastelum was back in April when he lost to Robert Whittaker. That loss dropped Gastelum to 1-4 in his last five fights. Granted, he was coming off of a good win against Ian Heinisch when he fought Whittaker.

For years, Kelvin Gastelum struggled to make the UFC’s welterweight limit. After multiple failed attempts to make 170, Gastelum moved up to middleweight. He rose to the top of the division and on the heels of a knockout over former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, Gastelum earned himself a title shot.

Gastelum fought Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight title and came up short. After that loss, Gastelum lost two more to bring his UFC losing streak to three. He snapped that earlier this year. Gastelum needs a win over one of the top guys in the division to prove he’s still one of the best.

Fighting Jared Cannonier gives him the chance to do that. Like Gastelum, Cannonier is coming off of a loss to Robert Whittaker. That loss was Cannonier’s first loss in the UFC’s middleweight division. Prior to that loss, Cannonier was 3-0 with three TKOs to start his middleweight career. While it’s not the main event we thought we’d get, this should be a fantastic matchup on August 21st.

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