It wouldn’t be a UFC event without a couple of high profile fights falling through. Up until this week, the promotion’s debut card at Madison Square Garden had held together remarkably well. But on Wednesday the New York athletic commission pulled Rashad Evans from his fight with Tim Kennedy over issues with a past MRI. And now Donald Cerrone’s fight with Kelvin Gastelum is off after Gastelum didn’t even bother to weigh in.
The whole situation is a confusing mess. If Gastelum had let the UFC know in advance, the fight could have been switched to a catchweight bout. Instead, his camp only revealed there was no way he’d make the weight after Cerrone had already stepped on the scale at 170 pounds. The New York commission has a rule stating fighters must be within seven pounds for a fight to still happen, meaning Kelvin couldn’t even make it down to 177 pounds.
“I’ll never let him fight at 170 again,” UFC president Dana White told FOX Sports after the debacle unfolded. “I think he missed this one by 10 pounds.”
As for the electrifying and ultra-popular Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, he’s left without a dancing partner for Saturday’s card. While the UFC had a couple of extra fighters in the wings to save fights should something like this happen, they’re all middleweights. And while several welterweight fighters offered to fly in and fight Cowboy, the UFC had other ideas. According to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, Donald Cerrone will now face Matt Brown at UFC 206 in Toronto.
This is the second time UFC 205’s loss is UFC 206’s gain. The Tim Kennedy vs Rashad Evans fight will also slide back to the Toronto card. Both Kennedy and Evans got their show money, as did Cowboy. Gastelum? He’s lucky to still have his job. This is the third time he’s missed weight, and the second time the UFC is forcing him out of the welterweight division. This time, it sounds like, for good.