The promotion announced that visa troubles for Imavov forced the bout to be scrapped, and a heavyweight fight between Aleksei Oleinik and Ilir Latifi has been added to the April 9 pay-per-view card. The event hosts a total of 13 fights at Vystar Veteran’s Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. UFC 273 prelims air on ESPN and ESPN+.
Imavov vs. Gastelum was supposed to occupy the pay-per-view main card; the UFC did not specify if Oleinik vs. Latifi will take its place.
Gastelum said the UFC is working on re-scheduling his fight. The one-time interim title challenger hopes to reboot amid a 1-5; most recently, he was outpointed by current contender Jared Cannonier.
Unfortunately my opponent was unable to obtain a visa.
Hopefully that gets worked out ASAP.
We’re trying to figure out other options.
So stay tuned…..#UFC273
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) March 28, 2022
Imavov, a product of Fight Factory in Paris, impressed in his most recent outing with a second-round stoppage of Edmen Shahbazyan. It was his second straight finish win.
Oleinik and Latifi were scheduled to meet at UFC Columbus, but a non-COVID related illness forced Latifi to withdraw.
UFC 273 is headlined by a pair of title fights: featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski defends against The Korean Zombie while bantam champ Aljamain Sterling faces Petr Yan in a rematch and title unifier.