Gastelum, Varner off UFC On FOX 9

Kevin Gastelum VS Jamie Varner
The injury bug has invaded Sacramento: Gastelum and Varner are both out.
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Mike Chiappetta

Mike Chiappetta has documented the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts since 2006 for news organizations including SB Nation, NBCSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, AOL and ESPN. He appears regularly as an analyst on countless television shows and radio programs, including CBS Radio and MMA Beat. Follow him on Twitter.


Just 24 hours after original UFC On FOX 9 headliner Anthony Pettis was ruled out by knee problems, the card has more unfortunate news. Welterweight Kelvin Gastelum and lightweight Jamie Varner have also both been forced to withdraw from the show due to various injuries.

Gastelum had been scheduled to face Court McGee in a battle of former Ultimate Fighter season winners. However, he said through Twitter that he tore the PCL in his knee and though he would not need surgery, he will require 4-6 weeks of recovery.

Gastelum (7-0) had won both of his UFC starts so far, defeating Uriah Hall and then stopping Brian Melancon with a rear naked choke in his 170-pound debut.

Varner, meanwhile, was set up for a tough scrap with Pat Healy until a torn rotator cuff scuttled his plans. Varner (21-8-1, 2 no contests) has split his four Octagon encounters. He has wins over both Melvin Guillard and Edson Barboza, but has lost to Joe Lauzon, and to Gleison Tibau by decision in his most recent fight.

The UFC has about one month to find replacements for both.

The Sacramento show is now headlined by the flyweight championship rematch between Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. It also still includes several other bouts of major importance, including a bantamweight battle between Urijah Faber and Michael McDonald, and an expected Fight of the Year-type scrap between welterweight contenders Carlos Condit and Matt Brown.

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