Former UFC middleweight title contender Kelvin Gastelum (17-8) has withdrawn from his scheduled UFC 273 bout against Dricus Du Plessis.
Gastelum, 30, posted a video to Twitter today stating that he was “compromised” and unable to compete, one day after the UFC announced his withdrawal.
“I wish it was an April Fool’s joke,” Gastelum said. “I wish this didn’t happen, but it did, and unfortunately, I have to withdraw from the fight.”
Gastelum originally was scheduled to meet Nassourdine Imavov at the April 9 pay-per-view event, which takes place at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
After Imavov had visa issues which would prevent him from entering the United States, he was replaced by Du Plessis.
“You were our last hope to stay on the card, and I was so thankful that you accepted the fight,” Gastelum said as he addressed Du Plessis. “But I’m sorry.”
What exactly the injury is that has forced Gastelum’s removal is still uncertain.
“I was advised not to disclose the injury, but just know, I am compromised, and I can’t and won’t be heading into the fight compromised the way that I am.”
Kelvin Gastelum does not yet have a timetable for his return but believes that he will one day again challenge for a title with the UFC.
“It’s going to be worth the ride, guys,” he said. “It’s going to be one hell of a book once it’s all done and finished. I’m not done – far from over it. … I truly believe that we can get the job done. If I didn’t, believe it in my heart, then I wouldn’t say it.”
UFC 273 is headlined by a pair of title fights: Alexander Volkanovski defends his featherweight crowd against The Korean Zombie and bantamweight champ Aljamain Sterling faces interim champ Petr Yan.
UFC 273 fight card:
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Chan Sung Jung – 145 lbs
Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan – 135 lbs
Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev – 170 lbs
Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres – 115 lbs
Ian Garry vs. Darian Weeks – 170 lbs
Jair Rozenstruik vs. Marcin Tybura – 265 lbs
Aspen Ladd vs. Raquel Pennington – 135 lbs
Mickey Gall vs. Mike Malott – 170 lbs
Vinc Pichel vs. Mark Madsen – 155 lbs
Aleksei Oleinik vs. Jared Vanderaa – 265 lbs
Anthony Hernandez vs. Josh Fremd – 185 lbs
Piera Rodriguez vs. Kay Hansen – 115 lbs
Julio Arce vs. Daniel Santos – 135 lbs
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