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Visa issues scrap Nassourdine Imavov vs. Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 273

UFC 268: Usman v Covington 2 Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

A middleweight bout between Kelvin Gastelum and Nassourdine Imavov has been cancelled for UFC 273.

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.

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.