Chris Weidman hasn’t won in two years, losing three in a row, while Gastelum hasn’t lost in two years, winning three straight. It’s an odd matchup on paper, but an interesting one to say the least, as both men are fighting in search of a win for polar opposite reasons. One is trying to stay relevant and hang on to his UFC job, while the other is battling for his first-ever title shot as they head into tonight’s (Sat., July 22, 2017) UFC on FOX 25 main event in Uniondale, New York.
As the two talented fighters gear up for what will be an intriguing tilt, we take a deeper look at what both Weidman and Gastelum need to do in order to leave Uniondale with UFC gold. Here are their keys to victory for UFC on FOX 25.
- Stick with what you know...
Chris Weidman was an NCAA Division 1 wrestler, but “All American “ has strayed from his bread-and-butter ever since he knocked out Anderson Silva back at UFC 162. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s good to mix it up and show the world that your not just a one-trick pony. But, when your butt is on the line and your in the midst of a three-fight losing streak, there is nothing better than getting back to basics and getting back to what got you to the big dance in the beginning. Especially after getting knocked out in your last three fights.
2. Use your size advantage...
What’s that you say? Gastelum is a decent wrestler? While that may very well be the case, his credentials do not even come close to those of Weidman’s. Plus, have you seen the size difference between the two? Chris dwarfs Kelvin, and while size doesn’t always matter in a fight, when it comes to the grappling department, it sure as hell does, as Chris can use the extra weight he will be carrying over his foe to out-muscle him when he gets the chance. Once he gets position on the ground, he can use it to his advantage to control the pace of the fight. give him some ground-and-pound or work for a submission
- Be light on your feet...
Kelvin doesn’t want Chris to be able to get a hold of him in order to take him down. That said, Gastelum -- who I believe is the better striker of the two -- needs to have quick feet, stick-and-move, get in and out to score his damage. Plus, he’ll be giving up plenty of size to Chris so once they are in the clinch, I’m giving the advantage to “All American.” On the feet, though, I’m giving Gastelum the edge, despite the shorter reach. Plus, Chris isn’t the fastest guy in the building, so Kelvin should able to use his footwork, youth and speed to his advantage. Weidman can pack some power in his punch, though, which is why Kelvin needs to use quick feet in order to avoid the big shots and land his own.
- Defend the takedowns...
Sticking to my earlier points, Gastelum must avoid the takedowns at all costs. While he isn’t a slouch on the ground, if he allows Weidman to take him down repeatedly, not only will he be giving up points in the judges’ scorecards, but he’ll be susceptible to ground-and-pound damage or maybe even a submission loss. Stick-and-move, stick-and-move, that needs to be drilled into Kelvin’s head.
Prediction: Gastelum via fourth round TKO
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