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 end an ugly string of fights against Kelvin Gastelum.
The remaining portion of the card includes several fun fights for some hard-core fans. Keep a watch on Jimmie Rivera vs Thomas Almeida, that has serious struggle of the night potential.
Weidman (+140), the former UFC middleweight champion, is in need of a triumph in this bout to prove he belongs among the division’s elite. ‘The All-American’ is a pressure-based fighter in the game who’ll push forward behind a steady, if occasionally loose jab. Weidman likes to throw kicks and he can do this at all 3 levels with a preference toward the midsection. The biggest issue is his tendency to move in a straight line, both forward and backward.
This pressure helps Weidman push his opponent to the cage where he could begin to work his fighting match. He’ll throw diverse strikes in the clinch and this will help open his wrestling. A former D1 wrestler, Weidman’s takedown technique is smooth and he also uses it both defensively and offensively. Once he is on the mat, you really can see Weidman glow with his combination of wrestling ability along with his black belt in BJJ.
Gastelum (-170) has the speed and aggression in the striking section to assist overcome his size disadvantage . He overwhelms his opponent with volume and will always probe with his jab. He’s primarily a boxer in the standup match but his toes are just as dangerous due to his speed and movement. Combining this pressure with his ability to maintain his lead foot on the outside makes Gastelum lethal on the toes.
Gastelum’s athleticism assists greatly in his wrestling game, as his takedowns are largely based in an opportunistic explosion. That doesn’t assist with his shield, as he is far from the top defensively. Gastelum has had difficulty against high quality wrestlers and that may only grow given the jump up to middleweight.
This is an intriguing fight for the future of the 185-pound division. The division is deep with talent but only one of both of these fighters could be considered elite moving ahead. That being said, Weidman and Gastelum are both likely two wins away from a title shot with the division being so congested.
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