Hello fight fans, welcome back to another night of amazing fights. We are back with the action taking place in the heart of Las Vegas, after a week’s break we are all eager to witness some cracking fights. This card has multiple top 5 fights and some tough contenders fighting to solidify their journey to the top. We can’t wait to watch some fights again, so as always let’s dive right in!
Alexandre Pantoja Vs Brandon Royval
We kick the main card off with a top 6 scrap in the Flyweight division where Alexandre Pantoja’s claim to the throne will be challenged by Colorado’s finisher Brandon Royval.
Pantoja’s UFC journey began through The Ultimate Fighter being the no.1 ranked pick on the roster in 2016. Pantoja was envisioned to be one of the best Flyweights on the roster who would give a tough stylistic matchup to anyone given his well-rounded skill set.
Pantoja being the last man to have beaten the current King Brandon Moreno, further goes to prove the lengths of danger this man produces in his fighting arsenal. Pantoja is primarily a striker with a hard-hitting boxing style which is supported by an elite submission game on the ground. He has had 16 career finishes including 8 knockouts and 8 submissions which combine for an impressive 70% finish rate.
A man who has never been finished prides himself on being a tough campaigner who knows when to bite on the mouthpiece and continue scrapping. Pantoja’s last couple of losses have come against former champion Deiveson Figueiredo and undefeated Askar Askarov. He believes he has learned from these losses and sharpened his tools to challenge the King he has once defeated to claim the crown of the Flyweight kingdom.
Denver, Colorado take not, we’ve got ourselves a problem in the wild rank 6 Brandon Royval. He has been exciting in all 3 of his fights in the UFC so far out of which 2 being fight of the night wars. None of Royval’s UFC fights have seen the judge’s scorecards which gets fight fans excited to expect nothing but the best from him.
Royval is as tough as wild and as tough as they come, he always looks for the finish whether it is by swinging on the feet or threatening submissions by pulling guard. Royval had never been finished in his career until a freak injury got him his first loss via finish against current champion Moreno.
Royval will look to add to his already impressive 91%-win finish rate which includes 3 knockouts and 8 submissions. A win against a tough Pantoja via finish will almost guarantee him the title shot he has been asking for.
This fight is really interesting and close to call as both fighters are very well-rounded and very tough. Pantoja’s pathway to victory is a technical striking performance, he will look to keep his guard high and keep jabbing at Royval. Pantoja would mix in the leg kicks and body hooks to keep Royval on his heels throughout the rounds.
Contrarily, Royval thrives in a dog fight and he will stay true to his fight name “Raw Dawg”. Royval will look to use his spinning attacks, heel kicks, and left hook to catch Pantoja with something. He will also look to mix in the takedowns as Royval has a more threatening ground game out of the two and is a more diverse finisher on the mat. Ultimately, we believe given the toughness of both men, this fight will hit the scorecards and the favorite should get the nod from the judges.
Given the closeness of the fight and the likelihood of controversial decisions being involved in fights week after week. We have a great promotion for fight fans, as we will refund bets if your selection loses via split decision.
Prediction – Alexandre Pantoja by Decision
Industry Odds- 2.80 (Odds are subject to change, watch out when Odds go Live on Stake)
Jared Cannonier vs Kelvin Gastelum
Jared Cannonier, also known as the “The Killer Gorilla”, has had one of the craziest rides in the UFC fighting in 3 different weight classes including the baddest of them all, the heavyweight division. Cannonier has found some amount of success in every weight class by gathering a short win streak but eventually failed to convert it into a successful title run. This changed when Cannonier made his way into the Middleweight division and a 3-fight win streak got him the attention of the champion and the fight fans.
Cannonier earned a title-eliminating bout against former champion Robert Whittaker where he came up short on the scorecards. This motivated him to make the required adjustments and he is back now to headline this card against to make a case for his title shot.
A feared striker with a scary knockout power that has earned him 9 career knockouts, Cannonier believes he has the skills to beat anyone on the roster. His near 85% finishing rate makes him a force to be reckoned with. A strong win in the main event spot against Gastelum will make it tough to ignore Cannonier in the title conversation.
The second man around whom this card was built has been a house name for the UFC since 2013. Gastelum is to date one of the best underdog stories, a young 21-year-old kid who was the last pick on The Ultimate Fighter roster who went on to win the season. Gastelum has proved time and again that he is one of the best in the world.
Gastelum made his middleweight debut in 2015 which saw him make an impressive run beating veterans such as Michael Bisping, Johny Hendricks, and Ronaldo Souza. This incredible run set him up for a title shot with then-champion Robert Whittaker, but due to an injury, Gastelum ended up fighting current champion Israel Adesanya for an interim belt. To this date, Gastelum has given the middleweight’s undefeated king Israel his toughest fight by rocking him multiple times and winning 2 rounds.
Lately, Gastelum has faced some losses to top fighters like Whittaker and Darren Till but he believes his fighting chapter will not be closed until he gets another shot at that belt.
Israel Adesanya believes that this fight is a potential fight of the year contender and we cannot agree anymore. The pathway to Cannonier is to keep this a striking battle and maintain his distance. Cannonier has nasty leg kicks and will look to utilize them and maximize his reach advantage from a distance. He also has an underrated jab and some explosive power in his hands, so he will have the striking advantage here.
Contrarily, Gastelum is the much better wrestler and well-rounded fighter here. Gastelum will cover the distance with looping hooks to the head and body. He will also have to mix in the takedowns to get the job done here as he has a reliable wrestling game.
Ultimately, we are siding with the experienced underdog here as we believe his championship experience and iron chin will help him weather the storm. Once Gastelum has taken the best of Cannonier’s shots, he has a lot of power in his own hands to land bombs to get a finish here in the championship rounds. The fight fans who agree with a finish here can get double winnings on their selection if their fighter finishes the job before the final bell.
Prediction- Kelvin Gastelum by Knockout
Industry Odds- 5.0 (Odds are Subject to Change watch out when Odds go Live on Stake)
Enjoy these amazing and get the best UFC odds only on Stake.com