Kelvin Gastelum is set for his UFC return.
Alex Behunin of MMA Mania reports that Gastelum and Chris Curtis are expected to fight at UFC 287, the upcoming pay-per-view event scheduled for April 8. Both fighters have since confirmed the report on their respective social media accounts.
Expected to return against Nassourdine Imavov at UFC Vegas 67 in January, Gastelum was forced to withdraw after suffering a mouth injury during a final sparring session. The 31-year-old needed stitches to sew his teeth ‘back on,’ so his appearance at the first UFC event of 2023 was canceled.
Gastelum has lost four of his past five fights since coming up short against Israel Adesanya for the interim UFC middleweight championship at UFC 236 nearly four years ago. The 31-year-old then suffered losses to Darren Till and Jack Hermansson, rebounded with a win over Ian Heinisch, but fell to Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier shortly after.
Curtis got his UFC career off to a great start with three consecutive wins over Phil Hawes, Brendan Allen and Rodolfo Vieira. The ‘Action Man’ had his first setback at UFC London, where he lost a unanimous decision to the aforementioned Hermansson. The Xtreme Couture product completed his 2022 with a ‘Performance of the Night’ awarded second-round KO of Joaquin Buckley at UFC 282 this past December.
Gastelum and Curtis are ranked No. 13 and No. 14 in the UFC middleweight division, respectively.
With the addition of Gastelum vs. Curtis, the line-up for UFC 287 is as follows:
- Rob Font vs. Adrian Yanez
- Cynthia Calvillo vs. Loopy Godinez
- Michelle Waterson-Gomez vs. Luana Pinheiro
- Ignacio Bahamondes vs. Nikolas Motta
- Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Christian Rodriguez
- Steve Garcia Jr. vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke
- Joe Pyfer vs. Gerald Meerschaert
- Kelvin Gastelum vs. Chris Curtis
Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more updates to the event as they become available in the coming months.