After snapping losing streak at UFC 258, what’s next for Kelvin Gastelum?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Kelvin Gastelum (16-6) was fighting with his back against the wall. The former interim title challenger had lost three fights in a row leading up to UFC 258. Gastelum had a hungry Ian Heinisch (14-4) in front of him, ready to take his spot.

Heinisch has a lot of promise, however, he hasn’t been able to break through against top competition in the UFC. He was hoping to get that done against Kelvin Gastelum. However, Gastelum showed the world on Saturday night that he’s far from done.

From the opening bell, it felt that Kelvin Gastelum was in control on Saturday night. Heinisch was supposed to have the wrestling advantage, but it was actually Kelvin Gastelum who was winning the grappling exchanges.

Heinisch had moments in going for submissions, but nothing was ever close. Gastelum dropped the final round, but with the first two rounds in the bag, it didn’t matter. An emotional Gastelum saw his hand raised for the first time in a few years. So what does the UFC do with him next?

What’s next after UFC 258?

The middleweight division is in a very interesting spot at the moment. Currently, nine of the top 12 UFC middleweights in the world are booked for their next fight. One of those being Gastelum and another being the champion, Israel Adesanya.

The other middleweight who is not booked is an interesting opponent for Gastelum. That opponent would be the third ranked middleweight in the UFC, Jared Cannonier (13-5). Cannonier just suffered his first loss at middleweight back at UFC 254.

Had Cannonier won that fight, he would have earned the next title shot. However, he fell short against Robert Whittaker. Cannonier has been recovering from an injury, but this is the perfect matchup to make.

Cannonier needs a top opponent upon his return, and Gastelum would like to get someone in or around the UFC’s top five. To me, it seems like a perfect matchup for both. However, I would expect Gastelum stays ready in case someone falls out of the upcoming matchups over the next two months.

After setback at UFC 258, what’s next for Ian Heinisch?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Ian Heinisch (14-4) had arguably the biggest fight of his career against Kelvin Gastelum (16-6). Gastelum is a former title challenger and he was in the top 10 in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

A win for Ian Heinisch would have sent him into the top ten and one step closer to achieving his dream. Gastelum entered the fight on a three-fight losing streak and he felt like his job was on the line.

When the fight started, both men were fighting with urgency. Gastelum was putting pressure on Heinisch and Heinisch was looking for the finish. In the first round, Heinisch attempted multiple submissions to try and get the victory.

However, nothing locked in fully. Heinisch used a ton of energy in the first round trying to get Gastelum out of there and he couldn’t do it. As the fight went on, it appeared that Heinisch was feeling the exhaustion of the moment at UFC 258.

For the most part, Kelvin Gastelum completely controlled the fight from start to finish on Saturday night. In the end, the judges unanimously gave the fight to Gastelum which ended his losing streak. Heinisch will now have to go back to the drawing board after UFC 258.

What’s next after UFC 258?

I’m very confident in saying that Ian Heinisch deserved to be in that spot at UFC 258. Heinisch does have a lot of potential, but we’ve seen him stumble against competition that ranks inside the top fifteen.

So far, Heinisch has taken on three fighters ranked in the UFC. He’s 0-3 in those matchups. For his next fight, he needs to take on someone outside of the rankings and I think there’s an opponent that is perfect for him.

The guy that Ian Heinisch needs to fight next is Brendan Allen (15-4). First and foremost, this fight was supposed to happen multiple times and it kept falling through. These two are not fans of each other and this fight needs to happen.

Not too mention the fact that these two are fringe top fifteen middleweights in the UFC. Both are coming off of a loss and it’s the perfect time to make this fight. I know they’ve tried it a few times, but the promotion needs to put this one together again.

Kelvin Gastelum grinds out decision over Ian Heinisch at UFC 258

A big middleweight matchup was featured on the main card of UFC 258. Former interim title challenger and Ultimate Fighter winner, Kelvin Gastelum (15-6), took on the rising contender, Ian Heinisch (14-3).

This fight was a huge crossroads fight for both men. For Gastelum, he walked to the cage tonight carrying a three-fight losing streak. Just a couple of years ago, Gastelum was looked at as one of the best middleweights in the UFC.

However, many have soured on Gastelum after his last few performances. He needed a win in the worst way tonight, but it wouldn’t be easy. Ian Heinisch is a very promising contender in the middleweight division.

Heinisch was introduced to the UFC fans through Dana White’s Contender Series. Between his skills and his backstory, there is plenty of reason to root for Heinisch. He was looking to pickup the biggest win of his career at UFC 258.

UFC 258 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 258 middleweight contest got underway with a big leg kick for Heinisch. Heinisch then landed another leg kick before shooting in for his first takedown. Gastelum defended well and used a scramble to get back to his feet.

Gastelum pressed Heinisch up against the fence, but Heinisch attacked a kimura. It looked tight, but Gastelum defended well and was able to break the hold. Another scramble saw Gastelum get the back of Heinisch.

Gastelum went for a takedown of his own along the fence, but Heinisch attacked the kimura again. However, Gastelum wound up getting the mount and he broke the hold. Heinisch was able to buck out of the mount and the two went back to striking.

A big leg kick for Gastelum lands and Heinisch was breathing heavy. Gastelum pushed forward then forced a clinch along the fence. Gastelum landed a couple of takedowns, but Heinisch did a good job of getting back up. It’s 1-0 Gastelum after one at UFC 258.

Round 2

Heinisch looked like he was feeling the moment of UFC 258 before the second round started. A lot of deep breaths coming from Heinisch as the action resumed. Gastelum opened the striking with a big leg kick, but Heinisch countered with a big right hand.

Heinisch shot in for a takedown, but Gastelum easily shrugged him off. Heinisch lands a big flying knee but Gastelum just ate it and took Heinisch down. Gastelum worked his way to Heinisch’s back, but Heinisch was able to get back up.

The two resumed striking halfway through the round. Gastelum moved forward with heavy pressure and forced another clinch along the fence. A scramble broke the two up. Heinisch kept looking for a high kick, but it was hitting all arms.

Gastelum shot in for a takedown of his own, but Heinisch defended well. Heinisch was breathing very heavy as he march forward. A massive body kick lands for Heinisch. Just before the round ended, Gastelum forced another clinch along the fence. 2-0 Gastelum at UFC 258.

Round 3

Heading into the final round at UFC 258 and Ian Heinisch is going to need a finish in this one. Gastelum opened the striking with a leg kick. Heinisch steps forward with a big elbow that lands clean. He followed it with a takedown, but Gastelum forced a scramble to get back up.

Heinisch kept looking for big kicks in the third round. Gastelum steps forward with a beautiful combination and Heinisch backed up to the fence. After a quick reset, Heinisch launched with another flying knee.

However, just like in the second round, Gastelum used that to get a takedown. Heinisch hits a beautiful reversal and gets the back of Kelvin Gastelum. He’s got the hooks in and he started looking for the choke.

Heinisch tried to get the front mount, but Gastelum countered well and got back to his feet. A big left hand lands for Gastelum and Heinisch shoots in for a takedown. Both men looked fatigued in the final seconds. Heinisch gets another takedown, but can’t keep Gastelum there.

Gastelum gets back up and lands a takedown of his own as the bell sounds. The last round was close, but Kelvin Gastelum should get the decision at UFC 258.

Kevin Gastelum def. Ian Heinisch by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC 258 Preview: Kelvin Gastelum – Ian Heinisch

A big matchup in the middleweight division goes down tomorrow night at UFC 258. Former title challenger and Ultimate Fighter winner, Kelvin Gastelum (15-6), will be taking on Ian Heinisch (14-3).

Both men will make the walk at UFC 258 with a ranking by their name. For Ian Heinisch, he’s coming in at 15th. Heinisch was first introduced to the fans on Dana White’s Contender Series back in 2018.

The Hurricane earned himself a UFC contract with a knockout victory. From there, he would go on to have two impressive wins inside the octagon. That’s when the UFC gave him Derek Brunson. Brunson was able to show that Heinisch still had a ways to go in his career.

After Heinisch lost to Brunson, he dropped a fight to Omari Akhmedov. Heinisch decided to take some time before his next fight and really focus on his standup. It showed in his last fight when he knocked out Gerald Meerschaert. However, he is taking another big step up in competition at UFC 258.

Entering 2019, Kelvin Gastelum was looked at as one of the best middleweights in the UFC. He was actually set to take on Robert Whittaker for the title before Whittaker had to be out for a significant amount of time. Gastelum ended up fighting Israel Adesanya for the interim title.

While Adesanya won, Gastelum looked very good and gave Izzy the fight of his life. However, after that fight, Gastelum has lost back-to-back fights. He’s in desperate need of a win tomorrow to avoid his fourth straight loss in the UFC.

UFC 258 Prediction

This matchup at UFC 258 is truly a crossroads matchup. In this fight, Gastelum will either get back on track or Heinisch will continue to ascend in the middleweight division. This fight has big implications for the division.

For Kelvin Gastelum, I think he needs to keep the fight at range tomorrow night. When Gastelum is on, we’ve seen him show off incredible striking and footwork. His boxing is extremely crisp when he’s on. He also has dynamite in his hands.

Heinisch needs to mix things up tomorrow to be successful. He needs to really work the low leg kicks and mix in some takedown attempts to keep Gastelum guessing. If Heinisch is able to take Gastelum down, he needs to keep wrestling him to win at UFC 258.

While many people are down on Kelvin Gastelum, I still believe he can be one of the best in the world. I think he’s going to have that turnaround performance he needs tomorrow. I’m expecting him to be sharp and land what’s needed to end his UFC losing streak.

Prediction: Kelvin Gastelum by Unanimous Decision

UFC booking Kelvin Gastelum – Ian Heinisch

The UFC is close to finalizing another exciting fight for their card on January 30th. Earlier today, it was reported that the promotion was booking Carlos Condit against Matt Brown. Now, the promotion is finalizing an exciting middleweight contest.

First reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the UFC is finalizing a middleweight contest between Kelvin Gastelum (15-6, 1 NC) and Ian Heinisch (14-3). Both of these fighters are ranked in the UFC‘s top 15.

Heinisch was actually scheduled to fight last week against Brendan Allen. However, that fight fell apart at the last minute when Heinisch tested positive for COVID-19. It was the second time that fights been scrapped.

It appears that the promotion has moved on from that fight. Now, Heinisch will get the highest profiled fight of his career in taking on former title challenger and Ultimate Fighter winner, Kelvin Gastelum.

UFC January 30th

When the calendar turned to 2019, Kelvin Gastelum was looked at as one of the best in the middleweight division. Gastelum had picked up two wins in a row against Jacare Souza and former UFC middleweight champion, Michael Bisping.

Gastelum got a shot at the interim UFC title against now champion, Israel Adesanya. He pushed Adesanya like he’d never been pushed before. The fight was an absolute war, but in the end, Adesanya walked away with his hand raised.

Since that fight, it’s been back-to-back lackluster fights for Gastelum. He fought and lost to Darren Till at UFC 244 in a fight that left much to be desired. Then back on Fight Island, Gastelum was submitted by Jack Hermansson in 78 seconds.

This fight is a big chance for him to turn things around. Heinisch is going to be a very motivated contender going in there on January 30th and if Gastelum can turn him away, it’ll say a lot about his position in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

It’s clear that the UFC is building a helluva card on January 30th. The two fight announcements today have both been bangers, and I’m excited to see how the rest of the card fills out.

UFC Vegas 13 Preview: Ian Heinisch – Brendan Allen

A popular fight of the night pick for tomorrow’s UFC Vegas 13 cards is the middleweight clash between Ian Heinisch (14-3) and Brendan Allen (15-3). Both of these middleweight contenders have been waiting for this matchup since earlier this year.

These two were originally supposed to fight back in June. However, Heinisch had to pull out of that contest. Allen went on to take on Kyle Daukaus and won a grueling decision that night in a fight that proved to be much tougher than anticipated for Allen.

Allen will walk into the cage tomorrow night having won seven fights in a row. Including all three of his appearances in the UFC. A highlight victory for him was the submission of Kevin Holland who is also making a name for himself in 2020.

The Heinisch – Allen fight was setup for June after Heinisch knocked out Gerald Meerschaert. Meerschaert is a teammate of Allen’s and Allen wanted to get that fight back for his team. He finally has that chance at UFC Vegas 13.

That win for Ian Heinisch back in June snapped a two fight losing streak for The Hurricane. Prior to that, Heinisch had won his first two fights in the UFC. A win for either one of these men tomorrow night will likely net them a ranked opponent in their next fight.

UFC Vegas 13 Prediction

When analyzing this fight, a lot of it is going to come down to the first round. Ian Heinisch has good grappling skills, however, I believe he’s going to try to keep this fight standing. I would give the grappling advantage to Allen in this fight.

However, the striking and cardio advantage would have to go to Ian Heinisch. Heinisch is going to come right out looking to pressure Allen. Allen does have a very solid jab, but you can bet he will be looking to get this fight down early and often.

If Allen is able to get this fight down in the first round, I think he can use his top pressure to zap some of the energy from Heinisch. However, I’m not sure he’s going to be able to get him down like he needs to.

I think ultimately the striking advantage will lead to more points in this one. I’m expecting a war that goes the distance, but I believe that Heinisch will be able to secure his second straight UFC victory here in 2020.

Prediction: Ian Heinisch by Unanimous Decision

UFC: Ian Heinisch – Brendan Allen targeted for November 7th

A big time UFC middleweight clash between two of the brighter prospects in the division will happen on November 7th. Ian Heinisch (14-3) will be taking on Brendan Allen (15-3).

This is a fight that was originally supposed to take place on June 27th, but Heinisch was forced off the card. Allen would go on to face and defeat Kyle Daukaus in a close fight. The match between Heinisch and Allen was first reported by MMA DNA.

Two Bright UFC Middleweight Prospects

Both of these fighters will head into the November 7th contest coming off wins in their last performances. For Heinisch, he was able to get a much needed win over Gerald Meerschaert.

Heinisch was able to score a TKO within the first 90 seconds of the fight. Meerschaert is Allen’s teammate which adds an interesting dynamic to this fight. Heinisch will make the walk currently ranked 13th in the world in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

Allen will enter the cage riding a seven fight winning streak on November 7th. Allen was awarded a UFC contract after he won by first round submission on Dana White’s Contender Series. He has gone on to start his UFC career 3-0.

Allen did run into some trouble in his last fight against Daukaus. While Allen was able to get the win in that fight, he didn’t come out unscathed. In fact, he took some good shots on the feet and found himself in some vulnerable positions on the ground.

A fight like that is really good for an up and coming prospect. They need to feel that sting of vulnerability to keep their skills sharp. Allen really wanted the fight with Heinisch and made that clear in his post-fight interview.

UFC: Three biggest stars to come out of the contender series

Tomorrow night marks the return of UFC president Dana White’s Contender Series. The contender series made it’s debut back in 2017.

The show has produced incredible fights and the show has introduced us to many fighters who are now prominent in the UFC.

With the return of the series starting tomorrow, I decided to take a look at the three biggest stars, in my opinion, to come out of Dana White’s contender series.

Suga Sean O’Malley

To me, the biggest star is not questionable. The biggest star to come out of the contender series is Suga Sean O’Malley (12-0). O’Malley burst onto the scene when he knocked out Alfred Khashakyan on the show.

Since his appearance on the show, O’Mally has gone 4-0 in the UFC. He had some USADA issues that kept him out of action for a couple of years, but he’s returned in full force in 2020.

O’Malley has scored back-to-back first round knockouts looking better than he ever has. At just 25 years old, the Suga Show is becoming must see TV. He has all the makings to be the next superstar. O’Malley fights Chito Vera at UFC 252 in a couple of weeks.

Geoff Neal

Handz of Steel Geoff Neal (13-2) appeared on the contender series back in 2017. That night, Neal knocked out Chase Waldon in the first round earning himself a shot in the UFC.

Since joining the promotion, Neal has looked incredible. Neal has gone 5-0 with only one fight going the distance. Neal has the makeup to be a big star in the UFC. He’s got incredible talent and a killer instinct.

Because he is so dangerous, the promotion was having a difficult timing finding Neal a fight in 2020. It became so bad that Neal had to pick up a job serving tables just to make some extra money.

However, Neal was recently booked to take on fellow top 15 welterweight Neil Magny on August 29th. If Neal looks impressive in that contest, he might only be a couple of wins away from getting a shot at the title.

Edmen Shahbazyan

Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1) was making headlines last week because everyone believes he’s going to be a star. The 22 year old went into UFC Vegas 5 at 11-0 with 10 first round finishes. One of those finishes came in the contender series.

Shahbazyan was humbled over the weekend by Derek Brunson and he suffered the first loss of his career. Again, at just 22, the future is very bright for Shahbazyan. The man could still become world champion one day.

He’s still going to be ranked in the top ten of the UFC‘s middleweight division despite the loss. With the talent and following he has already, you can’t deny that he’s one of the biggest stars we’ve seen come out of the show.

Other UFC notables

In addition to the three that I mentioned, there have been several other big time fighters to come out of the show. Fighters like Dan Ige, Ian Heinisch, Maycee Barber, Greg Hardy, Ricky Simon, and Ryan Spann amongst others.

White’s show has been incredibly successful about finding some premier talent. I’m pumped that the show is coming back, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the future stars of the UFC.

Three fights to make after UFC Vegas 5

UFC, Dana White

Last night, the UFC returned home to Las Vegas with an event at the APEX. The main card didn’t disappoint and there were several story lines that came out of last night.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at three fights the UFC should move to make following UFC Vegas 5.

Derek Brunson vs Jack Hermansson

Derek Brunson (21-7) made a massive statement last night. Everyone (including myself) thought that Brunson was going to get run over like he did against Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker.

However, Brunson was composed and put on arguably the best performance of his career in stopping Edmen Shahbazyan. Now the question becomes, what’s next for Brunson.

In looking at the rankings, a match that makes a ton of sense is a fight with Jack Hermansson (21-5). The Joker is also coming off of a big win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Island 2.

Hermansson has been vocal about wanting to fight Darren Till next, but with Till’s injury, I think Brunson makes a lot more sense. Plus the two men are both coming off big wins.

If the UFC were to pair these two up against each other, the winner could be next in line to fight for the title. Obviously the title is booked up for a while as Adesanya fights Costa and Whittaker fights Cannonier for the next shot, but a Brunson/Hermansson winner wouldn’t be far behind.

Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia for the UFC Flyweight Championship

Despite the impressive performance last night from Derek Brunson, the star of UFC Vegas 5 for me was Jennifer Maia (18-6-1). Maia took on JoJo Calderwood who was supposed to fight Valentina Shevchenko (19-3) for the title.

Shevchenko got hurt so the UFC title fight with Calderwood was called off. Calderwood didn’t want to wait around so she decided to take a fight against top contender Jennifer Maia. This has proved to be a massive mistake.

Maia looked tremendous last night. She was winning the stand up battle and when Calderwood took her down, it didn’t take long for the BJJ blackbelt to throw up a slick arm bar. The champion tweeted out her thoughts after the fight.

Maia poses an interesting challenge given her skills, but she will be a massive underdog against Shevchenko. Shevchenko is head and shoulders ahead of anyone in her division. However, Maia proved last night that she’s a game opponent and she’ll be willing to bring the fight to the champ.

Edmen Shahbazyan vs Ian Heinisch

Last night we saw the Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1) hype train hit a wall. The Golden Boy was being touted as the next big thing. However, after he wasn’t able to finish Brunson early, it appeared that Shahbazyan still had miles to go in development.

The UFC is in an interesting spot trying to book Shahbazyan’s next fight. He definitely needs a top 15 opponent. In looking at the rankings, I think a fun matchup could be with Ian Heinisch (14-3).

Heinisch bounced back big time after back-to-back losses back in June with a first round TKO over Gerald Meerschaert. Heinisch is currently ranked as the thirteenth best middleweight in the UFC.

These two would make sense from a rankings perspective and it would be a really fun fight for fight fans. I think the style matchup would be a lot of fun. If the UFC would rather aim lower to build Shahbazyan back up, another option could be Antonio Carlos Junior.

I believe that Shahbazyan will work his way back up eventually. He’s still extremely young and has all the talent in the world. Last night was a humbling fight and a reminder of just how special young Jon Jones was.

UFC: Ian Heinisch out; Kyle Daukaus to fight Brendan Allen at UFC on ESPN 12

The UFC‘s June 27th card has seen it’s first fighter fall. UFC middleweight, Ian Heinisch (14-3), was scheduled to fight Brendan Allen (14-3), but an injury has forced Heinisch off the card. Heinisch just competed back at UFC 250 on June 6th, but he wanted a quick turn around. With Heinisch out, the UFC turned to a veteran of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series to be the replacement.

UFC dream realized for Daukaus

Brendan Allen will be staying on the card, and he will be fighting Kyle Daukaus (9-0), who will be making his official debut in the UFC. Daukaus is a wizard on the ground, winning eight of his nine fights by submission. Daukaus was the Cage Fury Fighting Championships middleweight champion, and he will get to step right into a UFC main card. This fight is incredibly facinating on paper due to the fact that both men carry eight submissions wins into the Octagon on June 27th.

For Allen, it’s a big change in styles. Heinisch is the kind of guy who is going to go right after you on the feet, where as Daukaus is the kind of guy who wants the fight to be on the ground immediately. Allen was going to have a very short camp to prepare for Heinisch, and now he has an even shorter camp to prepare for Daukaus at UFC on ESPN 12. There are not a lot of highlights of Daukaus out there, but if you want to learn more about him, check out the video below done by Cage Fury detailing Daukaus and his brother, Christopher.