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Midnight Mania! Kelvin Gastelum releases statement, graphic video explaining UFC Vegas 67 withdraw

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UFC Fight Night: Whittaker v Gastelum Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

No UFC fighter wants to pull out of a fight. Training camps are expensive and grueling, significantly taxing months endured in the hopes of a big win and ideally big paycheck. Usually, fighters are safer the week of events, as training tapers down and the weight cut becomes the focus.

Unfortunately, something went wrong at the last minute for Kelvin Gastelum, who was scheduled to headline UFC Vegas 67 this Saturday (Jan. 14, 2023) opposite Nassourdine Imavov. He still hasn’t gone into detail on what happened, but Gastelum did release a statement on Twitter.

“I’m extremely disappointed to say the least,” he wrote. “This not how I wanted to start 2023. I worked my ass off & battled through a lot of adversary and was ready to put on a hell of a show this weekend. I apologize to Imavov, his camp as well as ufc and all the fans.”

In addition, Gastelum posted a video of himself undergoing some kind of oral surgery. In his own words, Gastelum described his procedure as “sewing my teeth back on.” Clearly, recently reattached teeth are not exactly fight worthy.

Again, there’s no details at to what happened released yet. In my experience, however, it looks like Gastelum ducked his face into a knee, which is the most common way for fighters to loose several front teeth at once. That collision can easily happen while moving around lightly rather than hard sparring, which is common during fight week.

Whatever the case, here’s wishing Gastelum a quick recovery. He’ll be replaced this weekend by Sean Strickland, who will headline his second consecutive main event after ending 2022 with a split-decision loss to Jared Cannonier.

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 67 On ESPN+

TOP RANKED MIDDLEWEIGHT STANDOUTS COLLIDE! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kicks off 2023 with another exciting event inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., Jan. 14, 2023, headlined by No. 7-ranked Middleweight contender, Sean Strickland, who steps up on super short notice to lock horns with No. 12-seeded Nassourdine Imavov. In UFC Vegas 67’s co-main event, Bantamweight bangers Umar Nurmagomedov and Raoni Barcelos hook ‘em up for a spot in the 135-pound title chase.

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