Although the news broke on Tuesday that Vitor Belfort would face Kelvin Gastelum in Brazil, UFC officials didn’t confirm the fight until Wednesday.
In making the bout official, the UFC also confirmed that it would headline the March 11 fight card in Fortaleza.
Belfort (25-13) has floundered over the past couple of years, losing three of his four most recent bouts. He’ll kick off 2017 against Gastelum after being stopped by Gegard Mousasi and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in his two bouts this year.
Gastelum (13-2) has had difficulty making the welterweight cutoff on several occasions, most recently having a UFC 205 bout with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone canceled due to his failure to make weight. He rebounded from that setback on Dec. 10 in Toronto by taking a fight with Tim Kennedy in the middleweight division at UFC 206. Gastelum won the fight via a TKO stoppage in the third round.
After that fight, Gastelum said that he still believed the welterweight was his ideal weight class, but would entertain fighting again at middleweight if the right fights, such as against the likes of Belfort, were offered.