UFC 234: Whittaker vs. Gastelum Preview & Betting Tips

Rod Laver Arena hosts UFC 234 as Australia's own Robert Whittaker looks to defend his middleweight title against Kelvin Gastelum.

Oddschecker
 | 
Tue, 5 Feb, 12:00 AM

 

CARD SUMMARY

 

Rod Laver Arena hosts UFC 234 as Australia's own Robert Whittaker looks to defend his Middleweight Title against Kelvin Gastelum.

 

Another fight that is sure to impress is Anderson Silva taking on Israel Adesanya. Adesanya, A Nigerian born mixed martial artist who moved to New Zealand at the age of 13, should have the vocal backing of the Trans-Tasman crowd in this one.

 

3 KEY POINTS

 

     -    Robert Whittaker is on a 9-fight win streak.

 

     -    Robert Whittaker has defended 84.1% of takedown attempts.

 

     -    Kelvin Gastelum is competing in his first ever title fight.

Robert Whittaker (20-4-0) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (15-3-0) – Middleweight Title fight

Robert Whittaker will finally have the opportunity to defend his belt on home soil after he was scratched from the UFC221 card in Perth due to an illness this time last year.

 

Whittaker who is a Sydney native, has had success in Rod Laver Arena in the past - in 2016, Whittaker finished Derek Brunson in the first round in front of a raucous home crowd.

 

On the other hand, Kelvin Gastelum is looking for success in his first ever title fight. This won’t be an easy feat for the American as he looks to put an end to the Champ’s 9 fight win streak. That hasn’t seemed to dent his confidence though as his victories over Bisping and Jacare Souza have buoyed him to claim a first-round knockout of Whittaker is on the cards.

 

The Heavy-handed American is more than capable of dishing out some punishment to the champ, but stylistically, that plays into Whittaker’s hands. This fight should remain standing, with Whittaker’s takedown defence mitigating any real impact Gastelum might have in taking the fight to the ground.

 

Gastelum will need to be wary of his stamina in this one, although his right-hand packs alot, he’s not exactly the fittest UFC athlete. On the other hand, Whittaker is known for his engine and if the fight goes beyond the third round, you have to favour the Aussie to finish strongly.

 

Tip: Robert Whittaker by KO or TKO

Israel Adesanya (15-0-0) vs. Anderson Silva (34-8-0)

Israel Adesanya, fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand will face one of the greatest UFC fighters in UFC history. Adesanya’s methods are a carbon copy of Silva’s famed awkward fighting style. This is why Spider Silva has openly claimed that the fight is “going to be the greatest in UFC history”.

 

Adesanya is riding an impressive 15 and 0 undefeated run. He has the age, height, arm reach and leg reach advantage in this bout, which explains why he is the prohibitive favourite at $1.16.

 

Although the bookies are putting a line through Silva’s chances, the Spider should not be underestimated. He is one of the wiliest, craftiest fighters the world has ever seen and even when he looks done, he’s more than capable of delivering a critical roundhouse kick, or flying elbow to put the fight to bed.

 

These fighters won’t want the fight to go to the ground, it’s just not in their DNA. With this bout pegged as a battle of clones, expect the winner to be victorious by knockout or technical knockout. It’s hard to look past Adesanya’s stellar record and distinct age advantage.

 

Tip: Israel Adesanya by KO or TKO

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