A middleweight fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Ian Heinisch will be added to an upcoming UFC Fight Night card in January. According to a report by Brett Okamoto of ESPN, Gastelum and Heinisch have agreed to the fight and both men have since confirmed the news on social media.
Gastelum (15-6) has made just one appearance inside the Octagon in 2020 against Jack Hermansson at UFC Fight Island 2: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez 2, where he was submitted by way of heel hook in 78 seconds. The loss, which left Gastelum feeling ‘truly embarrassed’ afterwards, was the third straight for the No. 8 ranked middleweight contender. He also dropped an unanimous decision to current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and a split decision to Darren Till at UFC 236 and UFC 244 respectively.
The three-fight losing streak was a career-first for Gastelum, who is hoping to turn things around with a win over Heinisch. He admits that is has been difficult to get a fight scheduled for him, which would explain his missing presence in the last couple of months.
Heinisch (14-3) has also made just one appearance inside the Octagon this year, picking up a technical knockout victory over Gerald Meerschaert at UFC 250. The win over Meerschaert snapped a two-fight losing streak for Heinisch, who suffered back-to-back unanimous decision losses to Derek Brunson and Omari Akmedov.
Heinisch was set to make his second appearance last week against Brendan Allen at UFC Vegas 13: Santos vs. Texeira, but the fight was scrapped hours before the event started due to a positive COVID-19 test for Heinisch. Like his opponent, Heinisch was able to get another fight, with quite the step up in competition in Gastelum.
At the time of this writing, there is no word on where this card will take place.
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