UFC Fight Night Predictions and Betting Guide: Chris Weidman vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Chris Weidman (13-3) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (14-2)

It’s always great when the main event is actually the best fight of the night, and that’s what we have here, MMA fans. Although for years, I have opined that Chris Weidman is overrated, he does make for some of the most interesting matchups. I was particularly intrigued by his pairing against both Yoel Romero and Gegard Mousasi. And I may be more intrigued with this matchup than any other Weidman matchup.

If you look at these two athletes and their styles, though, the gameplans should be pretty apparent. Weidman will attempt to use his size advantage to wrestle with Gastelum and control him. If I’m Chris Weidman,I would feel Gastelum out standing up to get into the rhythm in case Gastelum’s takedown defense holds up. Weidman should get his plan B in motion by way of fluid striking and getting a gauge of how he fares against Gastelum in this area. Because if he goes in with just a wrestling mentality, that could spell boom for Weidman if the fight remains standing.

But ultimately, for Weidman, the gameplan should, without question, be to close the distance. But the secret to victory for Weidman is not to exert too much energy going for the takedowns, but to be content with grinding out Gastelum against the cage, where Gastelum would be trapped against the heavier foe.

If I’m Gastelum, I use my speed to get in and get out with snapping punches and when the timing is right, try to set up for power shots and aim for the big statement victory. When Weidman shoots for a takedown or clinches, I use my wrestling acumen to immediately disengage and break free.

This is a barometer for both fighters, but especially Gastelum. This will showcase just how compatible he is with the middleweight division.

I think the fight will go a bit similar to the Woodley fight and the Magny fight, in that Gastelum will be outpointed and outgrinded. But Gastelum is a fighter who is always improving and has looked stellar at middleweight, so this is another fight that I have no intentions of going near. I believe Gastelum is likely to hurt Weidman at some point, but Weidman will survive the scare and then outgrind the lighter opponent to a decision victory. That is my prediction, but I would advise you not to bet against Gastelum. He has proven time and time again, from the moment he won TUF against the favored Uriah Hall up to this day, that betting against him (especially when he is the favorite) is not a wise idea.

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