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Gastelum vs Kennedy gets the go-ahead for UFC 206, NYSAC suspension cleared

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It looks like Kelvin Gastelum’s planned bout with Tim Kennedy at UFC 206 is full steam ahead, now that his suspension from the New York State Athletic Commission has been lifted.

MMA: UFC 200-Hendricks vs Gastelum Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

UFC 205 wasn’t just a landmark event for the promotion, it was also a sharp lesson for a couple of the athletes on the card: The New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) isn’t messing around with weigh ins. Miss weight bad enough and you won’t just get your fight cancelled or your paycheck cut down, you’ll get suspended too. And the thing about a suspension is, when one commission gives it out, the others tend to honor it.

That was a major potential problem for Kelvin Gastelum, who missed weight badly enough at UFC 205 that his fight with Donald Cerrone had to be called off at the last minute. As a result, the UFC pushed Gastelum out of the welterweight division and up to middleweight. And the NYSAC handed him a provisional 6-month suspension.

So, when the UFC tried to re-book him to fight at UFC 206 in Toronto, taking place just one month later, that suspension looked like a major roadblock.

Fortunately for the fighter and the promotion, it seems that roadblock has been cleared. MMAFighting reports that the NYSAC settled with Gastelum for a $2,000 fine in place of the original punishment. That frees up Gastelum to fight immediately, and should mean his bout against Tim Kennedy on December 10th is a go.

Kennedy had originally been pegged to fight Rashad Evans at UFC 205, but problems with Evans’ medical screening scrapped that bout. Evans then met similar issues getting rescheduled for UFC 206, as the Ontario commission was also unwilling to license him.

Gastelum will enter his bout with Kennedy off a win over Johny Hendricks back in July, at UFC 200. For Kennedy, the bout will be his first since suffering a controversial TKO loss to Yoel Romero in 2014.