The first UFC event of 2023 has its headlining act.
Ranked middleweights Kelvin Gastelum and Nassourdine Imavov will clash in a five-round bout Jan. 14 at UFC Fight Night from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed the booking to MMA Junkie that Gastelum (17-8 MMA, 11-8 UFC) and Imavov (12-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) have both signed for the fight following an initial report from LaSueur podcast.
Gastelum and Imavov originally were scheduled to face off this past April at UFC 273, but Imavov's VISA issues forced the bout to be canceled. Now they'll come back together.
Since getting outlasted by Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight title in the 2019 Fight of the Year at UFC 236, Gastelum has struggled. His lone win in his past six fights came against Ian Heinisch at UFC 258, and the Season 17 "Ultimate Fighter" winner is coming off back-to-back main event losses to former champion Robert Whittaker and top contender Jared Cannonier.
Imavov, a main training partner of former UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane, has won three fights in a row. After stopping Heinisch in July, the 25-year-old Dagestan-born, France-based fighter scored a second-round TKO of fellow prospect Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC 268 in November. He most recently edged Joaquin Buckley at UFC Fight Night 209 earlier thismonth.
Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie