UFC News: Sergei Pavlovich looking massive, Kelvin Gastelum weight issues & Antonio Trocoli steps in

A daily news brief on all things MMA and boxing, plus my thoughts on what we've learned.
Kelvin Gastelum
Kelvin Gastelum / Handout/GettyImages

I'll be breaking down some news from around the combat sports world and giving you my take on it in this new daily column. Check back every morning to see the biggest or most obscure headlines and what I think about them below.

Sergei Pavlovich is looking massive for his UFC return

THE NEWS: UFC heavyweight Sergei Pavlovich posted a behind the scenes photo from his official UFC Saudi Arabia pre-fight portrait session.

MY THOUGHTS: Pavlovich looks absolutely ripped which is not something you hear heavyweights described as all that often. He looks thick and toned and absolutely terrifying. He's making his return for the first time since getting knocked out by Tom Aspinall ans you can tell he's taking things incredibly seriously.

Kelvin Gastelum struggling to make weight

THE NEWS: According to Daniel Rodriguez, Kelvin Gastelum was having issues making weight so their UFC Saudi Arabia fight has been changed to a welterweight bout. It was initially meant to be a 180-pound catchweight. Gastelum alluded to the issues in his pre-fight media day interview. “To be honest, this has been a pretty hard training camp. There’s a lot of things that went on behind the scenes that a lot of people don’t know, don’t get to see, but it’s been pretty hard to get my weight down and get down to weight this time around – harder than last time."

He continued, “… I am pretty worried this week, but we’re going to talk with the manager and come up with the best game plan. But, I think we’re in for a rough weight cut.”

MY THOUGHTS: This isn't the first time we've heard about weight issues with Gastelum. Death, taxes, weight issues with Gastelum. He's missed weight twice at 170 pounds. He needs to be forced to stay at welterweight at this point. He can't even make the catchweight limit!

Antonio Trocoli steps in on 3 days notice to fight Shara 'Bullet' Magomedov

THE NEWS: Antonio Trocoli will step in to face one of the scariest prospects when he takes on Shara "Bullet" Magomedov on just three days' notice at UFC Saudi Arabia.

MY THOUGHTS: Trocoli is desperate to get a fight at this point. He's been on the UFC roster for two years and hasn't had a single fight (for various reasons). After waiting this long though, why would you want to risk your debut with a short-notice fight in the Middle East versus an incredibly dangerous man? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.