Kelvin Gastelum will return from his injury to face another ranked opponent in Chris Curtis at UFC 287 PPV.
Alex Behunin of MMA Mania reported the middleweight bout for the PPV event which is tentatively scheduled for April 8, 2023. UFC is yet to make the date and location of the event official, but it is expected to take place in Brooklyn, New York.
Kelvin Gastelum was supposed to headline UFC Vegas 67 against Nassourdine Imavov, which was this year’s first UFC event. However, Gastelum pulled out due to an injury just as the fight week started. Sean Strickland replaced Gastelum and the bout was then turned into a light heavyweight bout.
The injury issues have been plaguing Gastelum for some time now and it led to him not having any bout in 2022. Gastelum was last seen inside the octogan in August 2021 when he suffered a unanimous decision loss to Jared Cannonier. It was Gastelum’s fifth loss in his last 6 UFC bouts.
The trend started with losing the interim Middleweight title bout to Isreal Adesanya which was followed by losses to Darren Till and Jack Hermansson. He pulled back a win against Ian Heinisch before losing to Robert Whittaker and Cannonier.
Chris Curtis is 4-1 in UFC after making his promotional debut at UFC 268 with a win over Phil Hawes. He then replaced Roman Dolidze just a month later at UFC 269 to face and defeat Brendan Allen.
Curtis defeated Rodolfo Vieira in June 2022 before taking another fight on short notice as a replacement to suffer his first loss to Jack Hermansson. Curtis was last seen at UFC 282 where he defeated Joaquin Buckley via second-round knockout. This win got him a place in UFC Middleweight Rankings for the first time.
Despite not being official yet, UFC 287 has several bouts in work with at least 6 more bouts being reported. Steve Garcia vs Shayilan Nuerdanbieke was reported for the card last week along with Michelle Waterson vs Luana Pinheiro and Raul Rosas vs Christian Rodriguez bouts.