The UFC sets up shop in Long Island, New York for the first time in history this weekend for UFC on Fox 25.
The main event features an intriguing middleweight conflict with New York native Chris Weidman trying to finish an ugly series of conflicts against Kelvin Gastelum.
The rest of the card features several interesting fights for some hard-core fans. Keep an eye on Jimmie Rivera vs Thomas Almeida, that has serious fight of the nighttime possible.
Weidman (+140), the former UFC middleweight champion, is needing a win 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 forward behind a stable, if occasionally loose jab. Weidman likes to throw kicks and he will do this at all three levels with a preference toward the waist. The biggest issue is that his tendency to move in a straight line, both backward and forward.
This pressure helps Weidman push his opponent to the cage where he can begin to perform his fighting match. He will throw varied attacks in the clinch and this will help open his wrestling. A former D1 wrestler, Weidman’s takedown technique is eloquent and he uses it both defensively and offensively. When he is on the mat, you can really see Weidman shine with his mix of wrestling ability along with his black belt in BJJ.
Gastelum (-170) gets the speed and aggression in the striking section to assist conquer his size disadvantage . He overwhelms his opponent with volume and will constantly probe with his jab. He is primarily a boxer in the standup match but his toes are only as dangerous as a result of his pace and movement. Combining this pressure together with his ability to maintain his lead foot on the exterior leaves Gastelum deadly on the feet.
Gastelum’s athleticism helps considerably in his wrestling match, as his takedowns are mostly based on an opportunistic explosion. That will not assist with his defense, as he is far from the best defensively. Gastelum has had trouble 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 branch. The division is deep with talent however one of both of these fighters could be considered elite moving forward. That being said, Weidman and Gastelum are both likely two wins away from a title taken with the branch being congested.
Read more: sportscoverage.net