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 fights against Kelvin Gastelum.
The remaining portion of the card features several interesting fights for some hard-core fans. Keep an eye on Jimmie Rivera vs Thomas Almeida, which has serious fight of the nighttime possible.
Weidman (+140), the former UFC middleweight champion, is in need of a triumph in this bout to prove he belongs among the division’s elite. ‘The All-American’ is a pressure-based fighter in the striking game who’ll push forward behind a stable, if sometimes loose jab. Weidman likes to throw kicks and he will do so at all 3 levels with a preference toward the midsection. The biggest problem is his propensity to move in a straight line, both backward and forward.
This pressure helps Weidman push his competitor to the cage in which he can start to work his grappling game. He’ll throw varied strikes in the clinch and this will help open his wrestling. A former D1 wrestler, Weidman’s takedown technique is eloquent and he also uses it both defensively and offensively. When he’s on the mat, then you really can see Weidman glow with his combination of wrestling ability and his black belt in BJJ.
Gastelum (-170) has the aggression and speed in the striking section to assist overcome his size disadvantage . He overwhelms his competitor with quantity and will constantly probe with his jab. He is primarily a fighter at the standup match but his feet are only as dangerous due to his pace and motion. Combining this pressure with his ability to keep his lead foot on the outside leaves Gastelum lethal on the toes.
Gastelum’s athleticism helps greatly in his wrestling match, as his takedowns are mostly based on an opportunistic explosion. That will not help with his defense, as he is far from the top defensively. Gastelum has had trouble against high quality wrestlers which may only grow given the jump up to middleweight.
This is an intriguing fight for the future of the 185-pound division. The division is deep with talent however only one of both of these fighters could be considered elite moving ahead. That being said, Weidman and Gastelum are likely two wins away from a title shot with the branch being so congested.
Read more: womenssportsjournal.com