Update 6:05 p.m.: Kevin Natividad has been replaced as a precaution due to the outbreak of Covid-19 around this event. Ray Rodriguez, a Dana White’s Contender Series alum, will step in as his replacement.
A replacement fighter new to the UFC steps in due to a cornerman with Covid at UFC on ESPN 9 this Saturday when Brian Kelleher faces Kevin Natividad on the preliminary card.
Kelleher was originally scheduled to fight Ricky Simon, but when a member of Simon’s team tested positive for the virus, Natividad stepped in to take the bout.
Kelleher is 21-11 as a cage fighter, and 5-4 in the UFC. He lost via unanimous decision to Cody Stamann at UFC 250 on June 6th. He brings plenty of activity with 4.48 significant strikes per minute, and 1.21 takedowns per 15 in the octagon. At age 34 he fights out of Maxum BJJ in New York City.
Natividad makes his MMA debut with a 9-1 record. He’s won his last five in a row, including the Legacy Fighting Alliance. He KO’d Kyle Estrada in the second round for his sixth career stoppage on July 17th, and fights out of Arizona Combat Sports in Tempe. “Quicksand” is 27 years old, and has fought as low as 135 lbs. before, but will be at 145 here.
Here are the betting odds at DraftKings Sportsbook for Brian Kelleher vs. Kevin Natividad at UFC Fight Night on September 5th.
Money line odds
Brian Kelleher: -220
Kevin Natividad: +175
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