The UFC sets up shop in Long Island, New York for the first time in history That weekend for UFC on Fox 25.
The main event features a fascinating middleweight conflict with New York native Chris Weidman trying to finish an ugly series of fights against Kelvin Gastelum.
The remaining portion of the card features several fun fights for some hardcore fans. Keep a watch on Jimmie Rivera vs Thomas Almeida, that has serious fight of the night potential.
Weidman (+140), the former UFC middleweight champion, is needing a triumph in this bout to prove he belongs among the division’s elite. ‘The All-American’ is a pressure-based fighter at the striking game who’ll push ahead behind a steady, if sometimes loose jab. Weidman likes to throw kicks and he can do this at all three levels with a taste toward the waist. The largest issue is his propensity to move in a straight line, both backward and forward.
This pressure helps Weidman push his competitor to the cage where he could begin to perform his grappling game. He’ll throw varied attacks in the clinch and this will help open his wrestling. A former D1 wrestler, Weidman’s takedown method is eloquent and he also uses it both defensively and offensively. Once he’s on the mat, you really can see Weidman shine with his mix of wrestling ability along with his black belt in BJJ.
Gastelum (-170) gets the aggression and speed in the striking department to help conquer his size disadvantage at middleweight. He overwhelms his opponent with volume and will constantly probe with his jab. He’s primarily a boxer in the standup match but his feet are just as dangerous due to his speed and movement. Combining this strain together with his ability to maintain his lead foot on the exterior leaves Gastelum lethal on the feet.
Gastelum’s athleticism helps considerably in his wrestling game, as his takedowns are largely based on an opportunistic explosion. That doesn’t help with his defense, as he is far from the top defensively. Gastelum has always had trouble against high quality wrestlers and that could just grow given the leap up to middleweight.
This is an intriguing fight for the future of this 185-pound division. The division is deep with talent however only one of these two fighters can be looked at elite moving ahead. That being said, Weidman and Gastelum are both likely two wins away from a title shot with the branch being congested.
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