Kelvin Gastelum replaced by Sean Strickland in UFC main event against Nassourdine Imavov
10th January 2023

American Gastelum, now ranked 13th at 185lbs, challenged for the interim UFC middleweight title in 2019, but his points loss to Israel Adesanya marked the start of his current run of poor form.

Sean Strickland last fought just one month ago, losing to Jared Cannonier on points

Meanwhile, compatriot Strickland won six straight bouts between 2018 and 2022, but he enters the UFC Apex institute in Las Vegas this weekend on the back of two straight defeats. Prior to his loss to Cannonier, Strickland was knocked out by Alex Pereira, who won the middleweight title against Adesanya in his next contest.

Imavov, meanwhile, is on a three-fight win streak as he prepares to face his highest-ranked opponent yet; the Frenchman sits 12th in the division, while Strickland is ranked seventh.

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