Middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum has released a statement after being forced out of UFC Vegas 67.
The former UFC title challenger has been out of action since a decision loss to Jared Cannonier in August 2021. That defeat was a brutal one, as it set him back to 1-5 in his last six contests. He previously lost to names such as Robert Whittaker, and Darren Till in that stretch.
The Ultimate Fighter 17 tournament winner was slated to return against Nassourdine Imavov this Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 67. ‘Russian Sniper’ entered the matchup riding a three-fight winning streak. The bout was also expected to be Imavov’s first career main event role.
Sadly, the original UFC Vegas 67 headliner has been scrapped, ESPN MMA announced earlier today. An unspecified injury to Gastelum forced him out of the matchup, with no timetable announced for his recovery.
On Twitter, Kelvin Gastelum released his first statement since withdrawing from the bout. There, the former UFC title challenger apologized to his opponent, the promotion, as well as fans for pulling out of the contest.
I’m extremely disappointed to say the least. This not how I wanted to start 2023.
I worked my ass off & battled through a lot of adversary and was ready to put on a hell of a show this weekend.
I apologize to Imavov, his camp as well as @ufc and all the fans. #OnAmission4Gold
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) January 9, 2023
“I’m extremely disappointed to say the least. This not how I wanted to start 2023. I worked my ass off & battled through a lot of adversary and was ready to put on a hell of a show this weekend. I apologize to Imavov, his camp as well as @ufc and all the fans. #OnAmission4Gold”
Due to Kelvin Gastelum withdrawing from the UFC Vegas 67 headliner, Sean Strickland has been tapped for the main event. ‘Tarzan’ is riding a two-fight losing streak, having recently been defeated by Jared Cannonier in December.
He was previously knocked out by Alex Pereira in July, which snapped a six-fight winning streak for Strickland.
What do you make of this news? Are you still excited about UFC Vegas 67 on Saturday? Sound off in the comment section below PENN Nation!