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Midnight Mania! Kelvin Gastelum injured, out of UFC 273 bout vs. Driscus Du Plessis

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UFC Fight Night: Cannonier v Gastelum Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

First and foremost: this is no April Fool’s joke.

Less than a week after Nassourdine Imavov was forced to withdraw due to visa issues, now his would-be opponent Kelvin Gastelum has pulled out due to injury, leaving last-second replacement foe Driscuss Du Plessis without a dance partner. UFC made the announcement on its website earlier today.

Du Plessis is off the card; there won’t be a replacement for “Stillknocks.”

This withdrawal is really a continuation of a rough streak for Gastelum. The former interim title challenger has lost two bouts in a row, as well as four of his last five. Admittedly, all those defeats come against the very best Middleweights in the world, but Gastelum really needed a rebound win.

That’s not to say Du Plessis or Imavov were easy opponents. Both knockout artists are riding solid win streaks, and they were looking to jump up the ladder off Gastelum’s name.

It remains to be seen how long Gastelum is on the bench, or if UFC looks to rebook either of these matchups on his return.

LIVE! Watch UFC 274 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE DIP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Phoenix, Ariz., on Sat., May 7, 2022, with a blockbuster championship doubleheader. Headlining the pay-per-view (PPV) event will be Lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira, seeking to defend his title against No. 1-ranked contender, Justin Gaethje. In UFC 274’s co-main event, women’s Strawweight champion, Rose Namajunas, looks to avenge her loss against No. 2-seeded, Carla Esparza. And top-ranked Lightweight contenders collide when Michael Chandler (No. 5) locks horns with Tony Ferguson (No. 7) in a fan-friendly 155-pound clash for the ages.

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

Insomnia

Happy April Fool’s Day!

Petr Yan’s trips and throws in the first Aljamain Sterling fight were so damn cold.

Catch the kick, get swept?

Georges St. Pierre is an eternal student — and now teacher — of the game.

Good luck to anyone trying to point spar Stephen Thompson!

Remember I mentioned Tito Ortiz’s status as king of unintentional comedy? Paulo Costa is chasing that crown … or he’s a satirical genius.

Henry Cejudo with — at this point — a mildly topical shot towards Aljamain Sterling:

Really makes ya think …

Neil Magny is open to fighting Shavkat Rakhmonov, because he’s a true BMF.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Alex Volkanovski hasn’t lost in nearly a decade, and he’s fought an incredibly high caliber of competition. One of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet might be underrated … but this clip is still kind of funny.

One left hook to the temple ends this one.

This is a very nice display of range and fighting from the back foot.

Random Land

The slide tackle into spin move is a new maneuver.

Midnight Music: Paul McCartney is my favorite … member of Wings.

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.