Late in the 23rd century, the Federation set up an outpost and colony on the planet, seeing that it lay in their space. This colony was lead by Commodore Travers.
However, the Gorn thought it lay in their space. In 2267, a Gorn ship attacked and destroyed most of the outpost. The Gorns' captain impressinated Travers which brought the USS Enterprise to Cestus III.
After the Enterprise chased the Gorn ship away from Cestus III, the two ships were captured by the Metrons and Captain Kirk of the Enterprise and the Gorn captain were teleported to the Cestus III surface to fight each other.