Kelvin Gastelum is on the first losing streak of his career, albeit against stellar competition.The southpaw is a short favourite in Saturday's main event.
Very solid card at UFC’s Fight Island in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night, and the bout immediately preceding the main event features middleweight contenders Jack Hermansson vs. Kelvin Gastelum as both look to bounce back from losses. Gastelum is a -130 favourite on the MMA odds with Hermansson at even money.
Jack Hermansson UFC Fight Island 2 Odds
Israel Adesanya is the current middleweight champion and just defended that title with a fairly lopsided unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 on Fight Island on Saturday. Hermansson is ranked sixth in the division and Gastelum seventh.
The 32-year-old Hermansson (20-5) is from Sweden. His professional MMA debut was in 2010 – he is a former champion in Cage Warriors and Warrior Fight Series — and his first UFC fight was in September 2016, a unanimous decision win over Scott Askham. Arguably Hermansson’s most memorable bout was in April 2019 when he landed a whopping 148 significant strikes in a five-round unanimous decision win over Ronaldo Souza.
However, the “Joker” comes off a September 2019 second-round TKO loss vs. Jared Cannonier. Hermansson kept trying for takedowns but was clearly outmatched on his feet. A massive Cannonier uppercut hurt Hermansson, and the bout was soon over.
Hermansson’s UFC fights average 8:05 and he lands 5.13 significant strikes per minute (absorbs 2.56) with 2.23 takedowns per 15 minutes with 36 per cent accuracy. His takedown defense is 77 per cent. When Hermansson wins, it’s usually (55 per cent) by KO/TKO.
Kelvin Gastelum UFC Fight Island 2 Odds
Gastelum (15-5), a 28-year-old American, has spent time at both welterweight and middleweight and is a Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Gastelum’s pro debut was in December 2010 and he’s likely best known for beating Uriah Hall in April 2013 via split decision in the finale of “The Ultimate Fighter 17.”
The southpaw is on the first losing streak of his career, albeit against stellar competition. He took Adesanya the distance in a title bout in April 2019 but lost by unanimous decision. That was voted the Fight of the Year by a few MMA outlets. Gastelum then lost to current No. 5 middleweight Darren Till via split decision in November 2019. Gastelum was suspended nine months after that for a second positive marijuana test, but it was shortened to five months after the completion of a drug treatment program.
Gastelum’s UFC fights average 12:49 and he lands 3.75 significant strikes per minute (absorbs 3.01) with 0.80 takedowns per 15 minutes at 35 per cent accuracy. His takedown defence is 62 per cent. Gastelum has six wins by KO/TKO, five by decision and four by submission. Four of his five losses are via decision.
UFC Fight Night Predictions: Hermansson vs. Gastelum
At 6-foot-1, Hermansson has a four-inch height advantage on Gastelum as well as a huge six-inch reach advantage. Bet the “Joker” by KO/TKO in a minor upset.