The UFC returns to Las Vegas, NV, for another four-fight run at the UFC Apex following a rare week off. Before the week hiatus, Houston, TX, played host to UFC 265, a great evening of fights made even better by including fans in the experience.
In this week’s main event, a pair of middleweights will battle it out in Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum, as the pair of top 10 fighters look to get back to their winning ways, both coming in off of losses.
Let’s take a closer look.
Betting Profile: Jared Cannonier (13-5-0)
Last Five Fights
Coming into Saturday as the #3 ranked middleweight in the world, Cannonier will make just his fifth appearance in the division, having come down from light heavyweight at the end of 2018. Before his October loss to Robert Whittaker, a decision defeat, Cannonier had rattled off three straight wins to find himself firmly in the mix for a shot at the title.
One of the better strikers in the division, Cannonier comes into Saturday landing 3.62 strikes per minute, with 51% being significant. His average fight time of just over 8 minutes also ranks near the shortest within the middleweight division.
Betting Profile: Kelvin Gastelum (17-7-0)
Last Five Fights
For Kelvin Gastelum, who originally joined the company via The Ultimate Fighter in 2013, a fight for the interim UFC Middleweight belt in April of 2019 appears to have been a turning point for the 29-year-old. A unanimous decision loss to current champ Israel Adesanya was the first of four losses in five fights, as he desperately looks to get back on track as he’s slid to the #5 contender in the division.
While his striking is about on par with Cannonier, his ground game is on a different level. Averaging 1.22 takedowns per 15 minutes (vs. .2), Gastelum also boasts a takedown defense of 64% (vs. 44%)
Before losing to Adesanya, Gastelum was widely considered the future of this division, picking up iconic wins over Michael Bisbing and Vitor Belfort. He got no layups following the defat, running into Darren Till and Jack Hermansson, and most recently Robert Whittaker, a decision loss that still earned him a Fight of the Night bonus.
In this one, I expect to see the Gastelum of old who, for the first time in a long time, is in the underdog role and being counted out by many who thinks the beginning of the end has already started. If he can get a rhythm early, I like for Gastelum to end this one inside the bell as he gets back on track following a tough 2 years.
Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our Sports Betting 101 Section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced sports betting strategies — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.