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 an intriguing middleweight battle with New York native Chris Weidman trying to end an ugly series of fights against Kelvin Gastelum.
The rest of the card includes some fun fights for some hardcore fans. Keep an eye on Jimmie Rivera vs Thomas Almeida, which has serious struggle of the night possible.
Weidman (+140), the former UFC middleweight champion, is in need of 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 will push ahead behind a stable, if sometimes loose jab. Weidman likes to throw kicks and he will do this at all 3 levels with a preference toward the waist. The biggest problem is that his tendency to move in a straight line, both forward and backward.
This pressure helps Weidman push his competitor to the cage in which he could start to perform his fighting match. He’ll throw diverse attacks in the clinch and this helps open up his wrestling. A former D1 wrestler, Weidman’s takedown method is smooth and he uses it both defensively and offensively. When he’s on the mat, then you can really see Weidman glow with his combination of wrestling ability along with his black belt in BJJ.
Gastelum (-170) gets the speed and aggression in the striking section to assist overcome his size disadvantage at middleweight. He overwhelms his competitor with volume and will always probe with his jab. He is primarily a boxer in the standup game but his toes are just as dangerous due to his speed and motion. Combining this pressure together with his ability to maintain his lead foot on the exterior makes Gastelum deadly 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’s far from the top defensively. Gastelum has always had trouble against high-quality wrestlers which could just grow given the leap up to middleweight.
This is an intriguing fight for the future of this 185-pound branch. The division is deep with talent but one of these two fighters can be considered elite moving ahead. That being said, Weidman and Gastelum are both likely two wins away from a title taken with the branch being so congested.
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