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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 a fascinating middleweight battle with New York native Chris Weidman looking to end an ugly string of fights against Kelvin Gastelum.
The remaining portion of the card includes several fun fights for some hard-core fans. Keep an eye on Jimmie Rivera vs Thomas Almeida, that has serious struggle of the night possible.
Weidman (+140), the former UFC middleweight champion, is needing a triumph in this bout to prove that he belongs among the division’s elite. ‘The All-American’ is a pressure-based fighter at the striking game who will push ahead behind a stable, if occasionally loose jab. Weidman likes to throw kicks and he will do so at all three levels with a taste toward the midsection. The biggest problem is that his propensity to move in a straight line, both forward and backward.
This pressure helps Weidman push his opponent to the cage in which he could start to work his fighting match. He will throw diverse strikes in the clinch and this helps open up his wrestling. A former D1 wrestler, Weidman’s takedown method is smooth and he uses it both defensively and offensively. When he is on the mat, you really can see Weidman glow with his mix of wrestling ability and his black belt in BJJ.
Gastelum (-170) has the aggression and speed in the striking department to assist conquer his size disadvantage at middleweight. He overwhelms his competitor with quantity and will constantly probe with his jab. He is primarily a boxer in the standup match but his toes are only as dangerous due to his speed and movement. Combining this strain with his ability to keep his lead foot on the outside makes Gastelum lethal on the feet.
Gastelum’s athleticism assists considerably in his wrestling game, as his takedowns are mostly based on an opportunistic explosion. That will not help with his defense, as he’s far from the top defensively. Gastelum has had trouble against high-quality wrestlers which could 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 but only one of both of these fighters could be looked at elite moving ahead. That having been said, Weidman and Gastelum are both likely two wins away from a title taken with the division being so congested.