Dricus Du Plessis steps in vs Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 273

Nassourdine Imavov out, Dricus Du Plessis steps in vs Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 273

Some things have been switched around regarding UFC 273, one of which being a middleweight contest between Kelvin Gastelum and Nassourdine Imavov.

Imavov was of course expected to face Gastelum this weekend, April 2, 2022, but VISA issues have forced the Russian out of the contest, and he’s since been replaced to Dricus Du Plessis.

Luckily for Gastelum, the former KSW champion was already expected to be on the card, himself opposing 2021 Submission of the Year winner Anthony Hernandez.

Du Plessis was initially slated against Chris Curtis for this event; however, Curtis withdrew from the bout with a wrist injury and was replaced by Hernandez. But, at this point, it looks like Hernandez will be left without a dance partner.

Ilir Latifi vs Alexey Oleinik, a cancelled match up from last weekend, has also been rescheduled for this event.

Aspen Ladd was also expected to face Irene Aldana this weekend, but Aldana has withdrawn from the bout for unknown reasons and was replaced by Raquel Pennington.

Then we have a pair of championship bouts going down, as we finally get this rematch between UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and interim champion Petr Yan, as well as UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski’s title defense against Chan Sung Jung.

Reverting back to Gastelum vs Du Plessis:

Imavov has been doing very well for himself lately, upsetting both Ian Heinisch and Edmen Shahbazyan via knockout in his last two appearances, while Gastelum has hit a bit of a rough patch over the last couple years.

Following his victory over Jacare Souza, the fourth world champion he’d beat, he’s gone 1-5 since, starting out with his interim title defeat to UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

The only win he himself has in that time is over Ian Heinisch; him against Imavov was going to be a great fight.

Nonetheless, he now faces Du Plessis, who’s 2-0 thus far inside the octagon, coming in with a record of 16-2.

All 16 of those wins come via finish (7 knockouts, 9 submissions), securing KO’s in back-to-back outings since signing with the UFC. This will be a great test for both men, and a good tell to see where each man is at in their careers.

How do you see this middleweight match up going down?

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