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Report: Kevin Natividad pulled from UFC Vegas 9, Brian Kelleher now meets Ray Rodriguez

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UFC Fight Night Overeem v Sakai: Weigh-Ins Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

With hours left before fight time UFC Vegas 9 has experienced yet another lineup change.

According to a recent report by MMA Fighting, Kevin Natividad has been removed from his main card bout with featherweight veteran Brian Kelleher. The reason for the late scratch is unknown at this time, but Kelleher will now take on Octagon newcomer Ray Rodriguez, who weighed in on Friday as a potential replacement.

Kelleher, who was originally expected to fight Ricky Simon on this card before one of Simon’s cornerman tested positive for COVID-19, will be making his fourth trip to the cage this year. “Boom” has produced two highlight-reel finishes along the way and is hoping to rebound from a decision loss to Cody Stamann back in June.

Rodriguez, who will be making his UFC debut, is coming off a third-round submission win over Andrew Perez back in November under the Combate Americas banner. “The Judge” fell short during his stint on Dana White’s Contender Series — losing to Tony Gravely via TKO — but the 32-year-old veteran will have a huge opportunity tonight against one of the toughest guys in the division.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 9 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the main card portion that also streams on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 9: “Overeem vs. Sakai” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.