Just days after Robbie Lawler pulled out of their fight, Donald Cerrone has a new opponent on tap for UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Kelvin Gastelum has been verbally agreed as Cerrone’s new opponent. UFC president Dana White confirmed as much to ESPN Brett Okamoto. MMAWeekly.com sources indicated at the time of publication that they believed Cerrone had not only agreed but signed his bout agreement, but was awaiting a signature from Gastelum.
As mentioned, Cerrone (31-7, 1 NC) was originally slated to meet Lawler in one of the premier bouts on Nov. 12 in the promotion’s debut event in New York. Lawler, however, decided that he wasn’t quite ready to return from a first-round knockout at the hands of Tyron Woodley at UFC 201, and withdrew from the fight.
Cerrone is currently riding a three-fight winning streak since moving to welterweight. A win over Gastelum, who is ranked No. 5 in the UFC welterweight division, would quickly push Cerrone’s name into the top contenders for a shot at the belt wrapped around Woodley’s waist.
Gastelum (12-2) has a split-decision loss to Woodley on his resume, and would certainly like to get another shot at him, especially with the championship on the line. He also suffered a split-decision loss to Neil Magny since the Woodley defeat, but rebounded at UFC 200 with an impressive victory over former champion Johnny Hendricks.
Much like Cerrone’s status in the division, a victory for Gastelum would keep Woodley in his sights.
UFC officials have yet to announce a main event for New York, but should be rolling out several announcements in the coming days.