The UFC brings its act to the Land Down Under, where UFC 234 is being be held. The top billing for this event is a title fight between Australian Robert Whittaker and American Kelvin Gastelum. Also, Australia will see in the flesh the legendary Anderson Silva going up against the potential next big thing in the UFC in the form of Israel Adesanya. Read on for more about these two excellent matchups and more.
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Betting Preview for UFC 234 Featuring Kelvin Gastelum vs Robert Whittaker and Undercards on February 9 2019
Where: Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia
When: Saturday, February 9, 2019
TV Broadcast: Pay-Per-View (PPV)
Robert Whittaker (+180) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (-240)
Whittaker is the reigning middleweight champion, but it’s only this coming weekend that he’s finally going to make his first defense of this title. Whittaker got the belt when Georges St-Pierre left the UFC in 2017. He was supposed to defend it against Yoel Romero last year, but Romero failed to make weight, thus deeming their bout a nontitle fight. Whittaker, however, has won all of his last nine fights, beating Romero via a split decision. As for Gastelum, he’s won his last two fights, though, he only fought once last year, winning by way of a split decision against Jacare Souza. Whittaker is the more productive striker, but Gastelum has been excellent defending against strikes.
Whittaker powers past Gastelum to win the split decision.
Israel Adesanya (-650) vs. Anderson Silva (+425)
Adesanya is a relative unknown compared to the legend he’s about to face this weekend. Having said that, Adesanya is one of the hottest MMA fighters today that’s rapidly becoming a household name. He is 15-0-0 in his MMA career. He’s gone 4-0 in the UFC, most recently beating the lights out of Derek Brunson in UFC 230 with a first-round knockout victory. Adesanya admits that Silva is his idol, but he also said that he’s going to try to take knock the Brazilian superstar out. Silva is no longer the lethal spider he used to be inside the octagon, but like the saying goes, a great fighter always has one great fight left in him. Silva hasn’t fought since 2017, winning his only fight that year by outlasting Derek Brunson on his way to a unanimous decision victory. Prior to that, though, Silva had a five-fight winless streak.
Adesanya knocks Silva out in the third round and perhaps nails the final coffin in the legendary career of the future Hall of Famer.
Rani Yahya (EVEN) vs. Ricky Simon (-130)
Both Yahya and Simon are on the outside looking in of the top 10 rankings in the bantamweight division, but the winner of this fight could end up sneaking into the list. Yahya is very much likely to force the action on the ground, where he’ll look to capitalize on his strengths, while also trying to protect himself from the dangerous stand-up game of Simon. Yahya has 26 wins, with 20 coming by way of submission. He has not won via a knockout, too, thus the expectation that he’s going to avoid engaging Simon standing up. Simon, however, has a solid takedown defense (64%) and usually brings his opponent to the mat whenever he wants to, as evidenced by his 4.5 takedown average per 15 minutes – higher than Yahya’s 3.13. Simon has six knockout wins.
Simon knocks out Yahya.
Montana De La Rosa (-260) vs. Nadia Kassem (+200)
De La Rosa is the favorite and the higher ranked fighter in this showdown, but Kassem is undefeated (5-0-0). De Le Rosa is going to focus on ways to drag Kassem to the ground. The 23-year-old De La Rosa has nine wins, with seven by way of submission. She is on a three-fight unbeaten streak, with all of them submission victories. Kassem, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to land her fists on De La Rosa’s face. Four of his five fights have left opponents snoozing. In her UFC debut last November, she notched a unanimous victory over Alex Chambers.
De La Rosa ends up with a unanimous decision win.
Jim Crute (odds) vs. Sam Alvey (odds)
When asked about the stitches on his face, Crute said that he “enjoys bloodbath.” He’s probably going to get that against Alvey, who is a terminator inside the octagon. Alvey is 33-11-0 with 19 knockouts. Alvey lands more strikes per minute with a 3.2 average to 1.14 by Crute. That should play well against Crute, who’s absorbing more strikes per minute (3.57) than Alvery (3.25). Having said all of that, Crute has not experienced a loss yet. He is 9-0-0 with three knockouts and six submissions. Speaking of which, Alvey has three wins by way of submissions.
Alvey takes home a split decision win.
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