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UFC 273 fight card switcheroo: Gastelum paired with Du Plessis, Hernandez draws Fremd

UFC 258: Vieira v Hernandez Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

The UFC 273 fight card recently went into the shop for repairs, thanks to a couple of hiccups from middleweight bangers Nassourdine Imavov and Chris Curtis. Imavov got held up by visa issues and was forced to withdraw, so the promotion asked opponent Kelvin Gastelum to instead throw down against Dricus Du Plessis.

Du Plessis was briefly paired off with Anthony Hernandez after Curtis blew out his wrist; however, matchmakers opted to have “Stillknocks” battle Gastelum, leaving Hernandez to face off against promotional newcomer and LFA standout Josh Fremd. The latest UFC 273 fight card changes were first reported by ESPN and MMA Fighting.

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UFC’s 2023 PPV DEBUT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kicks off its New Year pay-per-view (PPV) campaign on Sat., Jan. 21, 2023, with a battle for the vacant Light Heavyweight crown between former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Glover Teixeira, looking to stop the momentum of surging No. 7-seeded up-and-comer, Jamahal Hill. In the co-main event of UFC 283, which will take place inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one of the greatest rivalries in promotional history resumes as Flyweight kingpin, Deiveson Figueiredo, battles interim belt keeper, Brandon Moreno, for a fourth (and likely final) time.

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It’s not yet known what the plans are for Imavov and Curtis, but it would make sense based on their respective timelines to match them up at some point in the very near future. Either way, it’s an exciting time for the 185-pound weight class with so many up-and-coming fighters, including kickboxing import Alex Pereira.

UFC 273 will be headlined by the featherweight title fight between reigning division champion Alexander Volkanovski and top 145-pound contender Chan Sung Jung, affectionately known as “The Korean Zombie.” The Aussie was originally expected to rematch Max Holloway but “Blessed” got sat due to injury.

In the UFC 273 co-main event, current bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling defends his strap against bitter rival and ex-division kingpin Petr Yan, who will compete with a makeshift corner. “Funk Master” captured the crown by way of controversial disqualification then took an extended leave of absence to deal with a surgically-repaired neck.

For the updated UFC 273 fight card and PPV line up click here.

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