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 string of conflicts against Kelvin Gastelum.
The remaining portion of the card includes several fun fights for some hardcore fans. Keep an eye on Jimmie Rivera vs Thomas Almeida, which has serious fight of the night possible.
Weidman (+140), the former UFC middleweight champion, is in need of a win in this bout to prove that he belongs among the division’s elite. ‘The All-American’ is a pressure-based fighter in the striking game who will push forward behind a stable, if sometimes loose jab. Weidman likes to throw kicks and he will do this at all three levels with a taste toward the midsection. The largest issue is his propensity to move in a straight line, both forward and backward.
This stress helps Weidman push his competitor to the cage in which he could begin to perform his fighting match. He’ll throw diverse attacks in the clinch and this helps open his wrestling. A former D1 wrestler, Weidman’s takedown method is eloquent and he also uses it both defensively and offensively. When he’s on the mat, you really can see Weidman shine with his combination of wrestling ability along with his black belt in BJJ.
Gastelum (-170) has the speed and aggression in the striking department to assist overcome his size disadvantage . He overwhelms his competitor with volume and will constantly probe with his jab. He is primarily a boxer in the standup game but his feet are only as dangerous as a result of his pace and motion. Combining this strain with his ability to keep his lead foot on the exterior makes Gastelum deadly on the toes.
Gastelum’s athleticism helps considerably in his wrestling game, as his takedowns are largely based in an opportunistic explosion. That doesn’t help with his shield, as he is far from the best defensively. Gastelum has had difficulty against high quality wrestlers which could just grow given the jump up to middleweight.
This is an interesting fight for the future of the 185-pound division. The division is deep with talent however only one of both of these fighters can be considered elite moving forward. That having been said, Weidman and Gastelum are both likely two wins away from a title taken with the division being congested.
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