Nassourdin Imavov will have 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 does not yet have an announced venue or location.
A person with knowledge of the match has confirmed the booking with MMA Junkie following an initial report of ESPN. The reservation has not yet been officially announced by the promotion.
Imavov, a primary training partner of interim UFC heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane, is coming off two straight finishes. After stopping Ian Heinisch in July, the 25-year-old Dagestan-born, France-based fighter scored a second-round TKO of compatriot Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC 268 in November.
Since being beaten by Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight title in a barnburner at UFC 236, Gastelum has struggled. His only win in his last six fights came against Heinisch at UFC 258, and the Season 17 winner “Ultimate Fighter” is coming off back-to-back main event losses to former champion Robert Whittaker and top contender Jared Cannonier.
With this addition, the UFC 273 lineup now includes:
- Champion Alexander Volkanovski vs. Chan Sung Jung – for the featherweight title
- Champion Aljamain Sterling vs. interim champion 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. Nassourdin Imavov