There has been a significant change to tonight's UFC Vegas 9 main card, as the original event opener between Kevin Natividad and Brian Kelleher has now been called off. The fight was canceled after Natividad was forced to pull out of the card due to undisclosed reasons.
The news was initially reported by MMA Fighting, however, it is also to be noted that Brian Kelleher will now face a new opponent in the form Dana White’s Contender Series alumnus in the form of Ray Rodriguez in a featherweight bout.
Kevin Natividad vs Brian Kelleher called off hours prior to UFC Vegas 9
Kevin Natividad has been removed from the UFC Vegas 9 main card opener due to undisclosed reasons. Interestingly enough, it is to be noted that Natividad took part in Thursday’s UFC Vegas 9 virtual media day from his hotel room, instead of showing up at the multi-purpose room which is used for the rest of the fighters.
Additionally, Kevin Natividad was also asked why he took part in the media day from his room, to which he claimed that he was waiting for his COVID-19 test. Prior to the confirmation of this fight though, Brian Kelleher was originally scheduled to fight Ricky Simon but the latter had to pull out after a cornerman of his tested positive for the coronavirus.
Kelleher's new opponent, Ray Rodriguez, also weighed in as a back-up fighter and the Texas-based fighter will be competing in the main card opener of UFC Vegas 9 with a little over 48 hours' notice. Rodriguez competed for Dana White's Contender Series in 2019 when he lost to now-UFC fighter Tony Gravely and the former has won 11 out of his 13 fights, heading into UFC Vegas 9. As for Kelleher, his goal will remain the same, as he will look forward to securing the win, despite the change of opponent just hours before the start of the event.Published 06 Sep 2020, 01:05 IST