Nassourdine Imavov will get a big opportunity when he faces a perennial middleweight contender.
Imavov (11-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) takes on Kelvin Gastelum (17-8 MMA, 11-8 UFC) at UFC 273 on April 9. The pay-per-view event doesn’t yet have an announced venue or location.
A person with knowledge of the matchup confirmed the booking with MMA Junkie following an initial report by ESPN. The booking has yet to be officially announced by the promotion.
Imavov, a main training partner of UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane, is coming off back-to-back finishes. After stopping Ian Heinisch in July, the 25-year-old Dagestan-born, France-based fighter scored a second-round TKO of fellow prospect Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC 268 in November.
Since getting outlasted by Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight title in a barnburner at UFC 236, Gastelum has struggled. His lone win in his past six fights came over Heinisch at UFC 258, and the Season 17 “Ultimate Fighter” winner is coming off back-to-back main event losses to former champion Robert Whittaker and top contender Jared Cannonier.
With the addition, the UFC 273 lineup now includes:
Champ Alexander Volkanovski vs. Chan Sung Jung – for featherweight title
Champ Aljamain Sterling vs. interim champ Petr Yan – to unify bantamweight title
Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres
Irene Aldana vs. Aspen Ladd
Pat Sabatini vs. Gavin Tucker
Mickey Gall vs. Mike Malott
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Nassourdine Imavov
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Nassourdine Imavov def. Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC 268: Best photos
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