CURRENT RECORD: 138-92-1
This week it is UFC on Fox 25, live from Long Island, New York. Headlining this card is proud New Yorker Chris Weidman, who is still searching for his first victory on home soil as he takes on the rejuvenated Kelvin Gastelum. Playing second fiddle to the feature bout is a featherweight battle between Dennis Bermudez and the ‘all action’ Darren Elkins. Elsewhere on the card there are exciting match ups between Ryan LaFlare and Alex Oliveria, Kyle Bochniak takes on Jeremy Kennedy and Patrick Cummins takes on Gian Villante. While there is also a bantamweight barnburner between two of the division’s top contenders as Jimmie Rivera takes on Thomas Almeida. Another interesting night of fights, so be sure to be tuned in so you don’t miss out.
As always, I will now break down all the main card fights, give my predictions and of course, put my own “Armchair Expert” title on the line.
CHRIS WEIDMAN vs. KELVIN GASTELUM
Former middleweight champion, Chris Weidman, has failed to get a victory in his last three, being KO’d in each. “The All-American” came to prominence when he became the first man to knockout Anderson Silva, while he also claimed the title in the process. He successfully defended his belt three times before being demolished by Luke Rockhold at UFC 194 and has yet to achieve a win since. Kelvin Gastelum has long been tipped for the top but weight issues have plagued his career. Finally stepping up to middleweight has seen Gastelum gain a new lease of life and he remains undefeated at his new weight class. Gastelum is a power puncher with a decent takedown defence. Weidman is the opposite; he is decent on the feet but a master on the mat. On the back of three knockout losses, Weidman’s back is against the wall and he desperately needs a victory here. Gastelum could end this fight in an instant but I think Weidman will fight smart utilizing his wrestling and control Gastelum for the duration. I think Weidman gets the decision and quite possibly a late stoppage.
Weidman by decision.
DENNIS BERMUDEZ vs. DARREN ELKINS
Dennis Bermudez was given the daunting task of welcoming back ‘The Korean Zombie’ last time out and ultimately fell short when being stopped in the first round. “The Menace” is a 13 fight vet with the UFC, compiling a record of 9-4 and holding a notable victory over current champion Max Holloway. Darren Elkins was also handed a tough task in his last fight when facing undefeated prospect Mirsad Bektic. Elkins managed to put on a stellar showing as he finished Bektic in the third round to earn himself a Performance of the Night bonus. This is a fairly even match up but I believe it is Elkins who is that little better-rounded and should be able to grind out a decision victory.
Elkins by decision.
PATRICK CUMMINS vs. GIAN VILLANTE
Patrick Cummins bounced back from a pair of knockout losses by defeating Jan Blachowicz at UFC 210. “Durkin” joined the UFC with a 4-0 record but went onto lose his promotional debut and undefeated record to Daniel Cormier. Cummins has since compiled an overall record of 9-4. Gian Villante has alternated wins and losses in his last five, being stopped by Shogun Rua in his latest outing. Villante has a record of 15-8, with ten of those victories coming by way of knockout. Neither of these fighters are near the top tier of the division or will be threating the champion anytime soon but nonetheless a victory is paramount for both. I’m going with Villante to get the stoppage late into the fight and get himself back to winning ways.
Villante by knockout.
JIMMIE RIVERA vs. THOMAS ALMEIDA
This is a fantastic match up for the division and also one of the best fights on the card. Both these fighters only have the one loss to their name with Rivera 20-1 and Almedia 22-1. Jimmie Rivera hasn’t lost in nine years and dominated UFC vet Uriah Faber at UFC 203 to get the decision win. Almeida has 17 career knockouts on his record and had been finishing opponents for fun before current champion Cody Garbrandt handed him his first loss on route to claiming the title. Almeida bounced back by defeating Albert Morales by second round knockout late last year. With the champion due to defend his belt in September an impressive victory for either of these contenders could propel them to the top of the pile. I think Almeida will continue his big hitting ways and finish Rivera.
Almeida by knockout.
Best of the Rest.
Lyman Good vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
Good to win.
Rafael Natal vs. Eryk Anders
Anders to win.
Ryan LaFlare vs. Alex Oliveria
Oliveria to win.
Damian Grabowski vs. Chase Sherman
Grabowski to win.
Kyle Bochniak vs. Jeremy Kennedy
Kennedy to win.
Brian Kelleher vs. Marlon Vera
Kelleher to win.
Timothy Johnson vs. Junior Albini
Johnson to win.
Shane Burgos vs. Godofredo Pepey
Burgos to win.
Chris Wade vs. Frankie Perez
Wade to win.
Bet of the Day.
The adventurous bet: all 13 predictions in an accumulator is about 1064/1.
The inbetweener bet: Almeida, Elkins and Weidman to win is 14/1.
The conservative bet: A Double Chance of Weidman to win by KO or on points is 7/4.
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