Kelvin Gastelum has spoken out about being forced off the UFC 273 card.
Gastelum was initially set to meet Nassourdine Imavov on April 9 in Jacksonville. Plans changed after Imavov had visa issues. Dricus Du Plessis agreed to relace Imavov but Gastelum has withdrawn from the fight due to injury.
The number 10-ranked UFC middleweight has taken to his Instagram account to discuss being removed from the UFC 273 card.
“What’s up, guys. I wish it was an April Fools joke. I wish this didn’t happen but it did and I, unfortunately, have to withdraw from the fight. I was advised not to disclose the injury and just know I am compromised and I can’t and won’t be heading into the fight compromised the way that I am. I just gotta say sorry to Dricus. I’m sorry if I’m saying your name wrong Dricus Du Plessis. I’m sorry I have to pull out this way last minute. You were our last hope to stay on the card and I was so thankful that you accepted the fight. But I am sorry. I did receive an injury shortly after our bout was signed.”
Gastelum was hoping to get a chance to rebound as he has been on a rough slide as of late. He has lost his last two bouts and has gone 1-5 in his last six outings.
It’s also a tough break for Du Plessis as he was going to have a chance to crack the UFC rankings. He’ll have to wait a bit longer for that opportunity.
It’ll be interesting to see what direction the UFC will go in now that Kelvin Gastelum is off the card. It’s left some wondering whether they try to rebook the Imamov fight or if Du Plessis will still be rewarded for stepping up to the plate.