Kelvin Gastelum had an appointment with Nassourdine Imavov at UFC Vegas 67 on Saturday, but he had to cancel and schedule a new one — not with Imavov, though. Instead of the UFC APEX, Gastelum found himself at a dental office.
Ahead of his return to the Octagon, The UFC middleweight was forced to withdraw against Imavov for a ‘mouth injury’ he suffered during a sparring session. Aside from that, details were sparse, but Gastelum showed the extent of the damage on social media shortly after.
A picture showed Gastelum with one less tooth in his mouth, as evidenced by the gap and blood left behind after the sparring session. And then The Ultimate Fighter 17 winner posted a video of himself undergoing a dental procedure, which he wrote was for “sewing my teeth back on”. Ouch.
Warning: Video below is graphic. Please proceed with caution.
Graphic imaging ⚠️‼️ pic.twitter.com/L8jhdRgV0F
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) January 10, 2023
Gastelum also posted a statement apologizing to the UFC, Imavov and the fans after his withdrawal.
“I’m extremely disappointed to say the least,” wrote Gastelum. “This not how I wanted to start 2023. I worked my ass off and 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.
“I have the best support system,” continued Gastelum. “Love you all! Appreciate you all that send good energy and your kind words.”
There is no word on when Gastelum expects to return. The 31-year-old is 1-5 in his past six fights, with his sole win coming against Ian Heinisch at UFC 258 over a year ago.
Stepping in for Gastelum on six days’ notice is Sean Strickland, who headlined UFC Vegas 66 in December. ‘Tarzan’ lost a split decision to Jared Cannonier.
About the author