The approaching UFC 206 card in Toronto received some more fortification, as Kelvin Gastelum has been freed of his suspension and will step into the Octagon to face Tim Kennedy. Gastelum was suspended for six months by the New York State Athletic Commission for not appearing at the weigh-ins for UFC 205.
The 25-year-old was instead fined $2,000, reports Ariel Helwani. Kennedy versus Gastelum was in the works for the recently elapsed UFC Fight Night 101 card in Melbourne, Australia, but since a verdict wasn’t clear, the fight was removed from the line-up.
Gastelum was supposed to face Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at the landmark card in New York, but was a no-show at the weigh-ins, because he did not make the 170-lbs weight limit. This is the third such instance of him missing weight, but the decision to suspend him took most by surprise, as it is not common practice among other athletic commissions.
Gastelum famously defeated the highly favoured Uriah “Primetime” Hall in The Ultimate Fighter season 17 finale to earn a contract with the UFC. Despite the win at Middleweight against the larger Hall, Gastelum thought it prudent to drop to welterweight.
He won his first five fights in the new weight class, but overshot the limit by one and three-quarter pounds in the third of these fights, against Nico Musoke, having no choice but to concede twenty percent of his fight purse to his opponent.
Gastelum would miss weight by an upsetting ten-pound margin for his fight against Tyron Woodley, but the current Welterweight champion declined the thirty percent penalty from Gastelum’s fight purse, stating that him losing the fight was punishment enough.`
Tim Kennedy was scheduled to fight on the UFC 205 card as well, but his would-be opponent Rashad Evans was not given the green light by the New York State Athletic Commission. The fight would have been former Light Heavyweight champion Evans’ middleweight debut.
The fight was then phased into the UFC 206 card, but Evans was not cleared by the Ontario Athletic Commission either.
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