The one catch? Gastelum is currently under a six-month suspension from the New York State Athletic Commission for failing to appear at the UFC 205 weigh-in when he knew he would be grossly overweight. Gastelum and his team are appealing the suspension, but UFC officials made a bold move to announce the match-up in the midst of the appeal process.
Upon announcing the fight during the UFC Fight Night 101 telecast on FS1, officials were clear to note that the Kennedy vs. Gastelum bout was “pending commission approval.”
It’s been a bumpy road back to the Octagon for Kennedy, who was first scheduled to fight Rashad Evans in a middleweight bout at UFC 205 on Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden. As the two men were flying to New York during fight week, however, the NYSAC declined to license Evans due to concerns over his MRI results.
UFC officials attempted to rebook the fight for UFC 206, but the Ontario commission also refused to issue Evans a license.
Now company officials are counting on a successful appeal by Gastelum’s camp in New York and the subsequent approval of Ontario in order for the Kennedy vs. Gastelum fight to come to fruition.