Kelvin Gastelum is no longer fighting Shavkat Rakhmonov at UFC Noche in Las Vegas.
That’s because the former middleweight was busted open in training camp, suffering an open fracture that forced him to withdraw from the Sept. 16 lineup. Gastelum is currently petitioning to have the bout rebooked for UFC 295 on Nov. 11 in “The Big Apple.”
“Unfortunate news, my fight with Shavkat Rakhmonov is off,” Gastelum said. “I received an elbow that resulted in an open fracture and a few bones that came out fractured. I have to apologize to everybody. To everybody who was excited for this fight, I apologize to everybody. My apologies to Shavkat Rakhmonov and his team. I feel bad. I feel very horrible about this unfortunate incident. I’ll be back. I’m still going to continue training. I can still do my strength and conditioning training (and) movement. I can still do a lot of training with my trainer, Noah Feinberg.”
It doesn't sound like Rakhmonov (17-0) is in the mood for any more favors.
“Pinata, I agreed to fight you on your territory on Mexican Independence Day in arena full of your supporters and it’s not my problem you can’t do it now,” Rakhmonov wrote on Twitter. “It’s your turn to accept to fight me on my territory in Abu Dhabi at UFC 294! Or did you realize it was bad idea just now? You forgot to mention that you are struggling with the diet too.”
Gastelum (18-8, 1 NC) has a history of welterweight scale issues.
No word yet from the promotion on how it plans to handle the recent cancelation. If neither fighter can agree on the new date, matchmakers may end up booking Rakhmonov for the UFC 294 pay-per-view (PPV) card in Abu Dhabi and Gastelum for UFC 295 in New York City.