UFC 276 to be headlined by Israel Adesanya – Jared Cannonier

While all eyes are on UFC 274 tonight, the promotion announced the headliner for their signature July PPV. On tonight’s PPV broadcast, it was announced that middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (22-1) will defend his middleweight title against Jared Cannonier (15-5).

The fight will headline UFC 276 on July 2nd. For Cannonier, he finally gets the crack at the title that he’s been searching for since he moved down to middleweight. Cannonier moved down to 185 in 2018 after unsuccessful stints at heavyweight and light heavyweight.

Immediately, it was evident that 185 was his proper weight class. Since dropping down, The Killa Gorilla is 5-1 and only Kelvin Gastelum has gone the distance in those victories. The lone loss came against former UFC champion Robert Whittaker.

Coming into this title fight, Cannonier is riding a two-fight winning streak. The last time we saw him was at UFC 271 when he took on Derek Brunson. After a tough first round, Cannonier swarmed Brunson in the second and got the TKO victory.

UFC’s Last Stylebender Defends Again

Speaking of UFC 271, that is also the last time that we saw Israel Adesanya. That was the night that he had his highly anticipated rematch with former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.

The fight was very close, but Adesanya was able to get the win and retain his middleweight championship. It was Adesanya’s fourth successful defense of his UFC middleweight championship.

In Stylebender’s MMA career, he’s only fallen short once. That was when he tried to become a two-division UFC champion and lost to Jan Blachowicz at light heavyweight. At middleweight, nobody has been better than Israel Adesanya.

Now, Adesanya will seek his fifth ruby for defending the middleweight crown successfully for a fifth time. He’s got a challenger in front of him with a ton of power, but if anyone can solve the riddle it’s Israel Adesanya. This should be a tremendous fight and it’s an excellent headliner for UFC 276.

Looking ahead to Israel Adesanya – Jared Cannonier after UFC 271

This past Saturday at UFC 271, we saw two massive matchups in the middleweight division. In the main event of the evening, the middleweight title was on the line as Israel Adesanya (22-1) defended against Robert Whittaker (23-6).

On the main card of UFC 271, we also saw a title elimination bout between Jared Cannonier (15-5) and Derek Brunson (23-8). This fight ended up having so many exciting turns that even people who were excited for this fight didn’t foresee happening.

In the first round, Brunson dropped Cannonier and used his wrestling to control him. Near the end of the first round, Brunson locked in a deep rear naked choke. However, the round ended and we moved to the second.

Once in the second, it was all Cannonier. Brunson looked tired and defeated that he didn’t win in the first. Cannonier capitalized and hurt Brunson badly. A flurry of brutal shots led him to the TKO win at UFC 271. 

In the main event, Adesanya and Whittaker went to battle again. After their lopsided first fight, this one was much closer. However, it didn’t start that way. Adesanya controlled the first round and even dropped Whittaker.

However, Whittaker came back strong and made rounds 2-5 extremely competitive. Overall, I think Adesanya was the correct winner. However, I could even see an argument for giving Whittaker three rounds. Nevertheless, Adesanya got the decision at UFC 271 and retained his title. 

Previewing UFC title fight

Dana White made it clear after the fight that Jared Cannonier would get the next shot. Adesanya agreed and said he hopes the UFC could put it together for their June PPV. Early word is that looks like the target for this matchup.

Adesanya’s last two title defenses have been rematches. However, he’s getting new blood with this UFC defense against Cannonier. Adesanya vocalized that he wanted to fight Cannonier back in 2020, but Cannonier was derailed by Whittaker.

Now, Cannonier has won two straight to earn himself a shot. Cannonier has some serious power and he definitely poses some threats to the champion. However, Stylebender should be the big favorite heading into their title fight.

In my early analysis, I’m having a hard time seeing Cannonier having success due to his struggles to get inside. I think Adesanya is going to really work the leg kicks in this one and he’s going to be hard to catch.

Whenever these two meetup at the June UFC PPV, I’m expecting Adesanya to retain his title. I’m not going to rule out anyone beating Adesanya at 185, but right now, it’s hard to see anyone doing it if Robert Whittaker can’t.

After falling short at UFC 271, what’s next for Derek Brunson?

Derek Brunson

On the main card of UFC 271, we saw a big time matchup in the middleweight division. A potential title fight was on the line as Derek Brunson (23-8) was looking to continue his winning streak by defeating “The Killa Gorilla” Jared Cannonier (15-5).

Brunson told everyone ahead of UFC 271 that win, lose, or draw, he would only be fighting two more times. In an ideal situation, Brunson would defeat Cannonier at UFC 271 then retire after a title shot against Israel Adesanya. After one round, it looked like that was going to happen.

Brunson had some success in the first round against Cannonier with his wrestling. Then, at the end of the first round, Brunson dropped Cannonier with a counter shot as Cannonier rushed in. Brunson immediately hoped on Cannonier’s back and locked in a rear naked choke.

However, there was only seconds left in the round. The bell sounded and both men went back to their corners. That is where the fight changed completely. Brunson couldn’t get anything going in the second at UFC 271 and he looked tired and sluggish. Late in the round, Brunson was hurt badly by Cannonier.

Cannonier followed up with some brutal shots and the referee stepped in to save Brunson. The dream scenario was within his grasp, but it just slipped through his hands.

What’s next after UFC 271?

Brunson was dejected after the fight, but he said that he would fight on for one more fight after UFC 271. It’s not the outcome he wanted, but he seems committed to giving fans one more good fight before he hangs up his gloves for good. With that, who should he face off with?

In looking at the middleweight division, I think a good opponent would be Jack Hermansson (22-7). Hermansson is still in the top ten of the UFC’s middleweight division, but he’s a bit in No Man’s land. I think a fight with Brunson makes a lot of sense for him as well.

It’s a good matchup for Brunson and it’s still a quality guy who he could face off against as he prepares to ride off towards the rest of his life.

Jared Cannonier knocks out Derek Brunson at UFC 271

On the main card of UFC 271, we saw a potential title elimination bout in the middleweight division. Top contenders battled it out as “The Killa Gorilla” Jared Cannonier (14-5) took on Derek Brunson (23-7).

Brunson made headlines earlier this week when he announced that win, lose, or draw, UFC 271 will be one of his final two fights. With that, there was a ton of pressure on him to get the job done. He came into tonight riding a five-fight win streak.

Since moving down to the middleweight division, Jared Cannonier has been sensational. He’s 4-1 with the lone loss coming to Robert Whittaker at UFC 254. In his last fight, he won a decision over Kelvin Gastelum. Cannonier was looking to make a statement at UFC 271 and earn himself a shot at the middleweight title.

UFC 271 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 271 middleweight contest kicked off with immediate pressure from Cannonier. Both men try to land kicks but they both miss. Body kick lands for Brunson. Pressure here from Cannonier and Brunson gets a body lock. However, Cannonier shrugs him off.

Brunson tries shooting in for another takedown and he gets deep on a single leg. Cannonier showing good defense, but Brunson gets him down to the ground. However, it doesn’t last long as Cannonier pops right back up. Desperate shot from Brunson and Cannonier defends.

Low kick lands for Cannonier. Body kick and a straight shot lands for Brunson. Brunson once again charges forward looking for the takedown. However, Cannonier shrugs him off once again. Both men trade straight shots in the center. Nice left hand lands for Brunson and he immediately shoots again.

Once again, Cannonier defends. Left hand for Brunson and another takedown attempt for Brunson. Brunson jumps right to mount but Cannonier gets him back to half guard. Cannonier uses th fence to get back to his feet and pushes Brunson off.

Cannonier pushes forward and gets dropped by Brunson. Brunson jumps on a rear naked choke and locks it in. However, the round ends and Cannonier is saved. 1-0 Brunson after one at UFC 271.

Round 2

Entering the second at UFC 271 and Cannonier needs to try and answer Brunson’s big first round. Brunson shoots for a takedown within seconds of the second round and gets Cannonier down. He settles right into half guard.

Cannonier does a good job of exploding out of it and they’re back to striking. Big uppercut lands for Cannonier and Brunson might be hurt. Immediately the body language changed from Brunson, however, he’s hanging in there. Nice left hand from Brunson.

Good right straight lands for Cannonier. Brunson still looks like he’s trying to get his footing back. Takedown attempt from Brunson, but Cannonier shrugs him off. Big right hook from Cannonier lands. Another right hand lands for Cannonier and Brunson is getting sloppy here.

Jab lands for Cannonier. Another big jab from Cannonier snaps Brunson’s head back. Right hand from Cannonier and Brunson shoots for another takedown. Once again, Cannonier defends well. Big shots from Cannonier on the inside and Brunson is hurt badly.

Cannonier is all over Brunson here. Brunson goes down and Cannonier lands vicious elbows. This one is over and Jared Cannonier might’ve just earned himself a UFC title shot.

Jared Cannonier def. Derek Brunson by KO – Round 2

UFC 271 Preview: Jared Cannonier – Derek Brunson

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 271, we will see a potential title elimination bout in the middleweight division. Top contenders will battle it out as “The Killa Gorilla” Jared Cannonier (14-5) takes on Derek Brunson (23-7).

Brunson made headlines earlier this week when he announced that win, lose, or draw, UFC 271 will be one of his final two fights. With that, there is a ton of pressure on him to get the job done. He comes into tomorrow night riding a five-fight winning streak.

He’s become a bit of a gate-keeper at 185, but the UFC has finally given him a good opponent that can vault him into title contention. However, in order to get into title contention, he’s going to have to defeat the very tough Jared Cannonier.

Since moving down to the middleweight division, Jared Cannonier has been sensational. He’s 4-1 with the lone loss coming to Robert Whittaker at UFC 254. In his last fight, he won a decision over Kelvin Gastelum. If he picks up the win tomorrow night, he’s sitting in a good spot to get his UFC title shot that he’s been aiming for.

UFC 271 Prediction

I’m the first to admit that there’s not been one fighter I’ve been more wrong about than Derek Brunson. I picked him to lose to Edmen Shahbazyan, Kevin Holland, and Darren Till. Derek Brunson went out and won all three of those fights.

I’m not trying to disrespect Brunson, it’s just that he doesn’t do anything that really wows you. That said, ahead of UFC 271, he’s shown everyone just how effective he is. If he’s able to get ahold and control Cannonier, it’s going to be a long night for The Killa Gorilla.

The key to this fight is going to be the range. If Cannonier keeps this fight at range, he can easily put Brunson to sleep. However, if he can’t keep Brunson off of him, Brunson is going to grind his way to a decision victory.

Part of me wants to pick Brunson just because he’s proved me wrong so many times. However, I just can’t do it. Call me crazy, but I’m going to pick against him again. I think he will have moments, but I also think he gets caught with a big shot in the second round and Jared Cannonier will win at UFC 271.

Prediction: Jared Cannonier by TKO – Round 2

Derek Brunson will retire after his next two UFC bouts

Derek Brunson

This weekend at UFC 271, there is a pivotal matchup on the main card in the middleweight division. On the main card, we will see a title eliminator between Derek Brunson (23-7) and Jared Cannonier (14-5). It’s been fairly clear that the winner of this fight will likely get the next shot at the UFC middleweight title.

While this storyline alone would be enough to build up the fight, today we learned of another interesting wrinkle to it. Derek Brunson appeared at the UFC 271 media day and he talked about his career in mixed martial arts.

The last time Brunson lost a fight was at UFC 230 to the current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Since that moment, Brunson has been perfect. He’s also played the role of a “Gate-Keeper” in the middleweight division.

Brunson has won five fights in a row to get this fight with Jared Cannonier. If he wins this fight, it will be impossible to deny him a title shot. The way things are lining up, it’s looking like the perfect ending of Brunson’s UFC career according to him.

Two More UFC Fights

At media day today,  Brunson announced that win, lose, or draw, he only has two fights left in his career. He admitted that his dream scenario would be to beat Cannonier at UFC 271 which would setup him fighting Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title.

Adesanya headlines UFC 271 when he takes on Robert Whittaker, another man who has defeated Brunson in the past. Brunson is looking to win on Saturday then get revenge and cash in on UFC gold against either Adesanya or Whittaker.

However, Brunson made it clear that if his dream scenario plays out, he will walk away from the sport on top. He cited that he wants to spend more time with his family and he would want to walk away from the UFC with his health.

With this new two-fight career deadline, UFC 271 just became even more intriguing for Brunson. If Cannonier wins on Saturday, it could be the last time we see Brunson. However, if Brunson wins, it sets him up for a title fight in his retirement fight.

UFC books title eliminator between Derek Brunson and Jared Cannonier

Derek Brunson

The UFC has finalized a big time middleweight matchup with title implications for January. MMA Junkie’s John Morgan was the first to report this evening that the UFC has finalized a matchup between top middleweight contenders Derek Brunson (23-7) and Jared Cannonier (14-5).

The fight will take place on January 22nd. Currently, the plan is for the UFC to host a PPV that day. Tentatively, the plan is for Israel Adesanya – Robert Whittaker 2 to headline the card which would make this middleweight clash even more compelling.

The last time that Brunson tasted defeat was against the current UFC champion, Israel Adesanya. The two fought back in 2018 and Adesanya walked through Brunson on his way to a first round finish.

However, since that fight, Brunson has been sensational. He’s gone a perfect 5-0 and turned away UFC hype machines Darren Till, Kevin Holland, Edmen Shahbazyan, and Ian Heinisch. Now, he’s finally getting a top guy in the division.

UFC title shot on the line?

Standing across from Brunson in January will be the Killa Gorilla. Jared Cannonier was one win away last October from earning a UFC title shot. Cannonier had a shot against Robert Whittaker and had he won, he was going to be next for Israel Adesanya.

However, Whittaker was able to pick up the win. Cannonier spent most of 2021 on the shelf recovering from injuries but returned last month. In a headliner, Cannonier took on Kelvin Gastelum.

Cannonier was able to hurt Gastelum multiple times and picked up a unanimous decision victory. That win has him right back in the title picture. Given the winning streak that Brunson’s on and where Cannonier sits, it’s easy to see why the UFC booked this fight.

It’s clear that the winner is going to get a crack at the winner of the main event. The UFC is putting together quite the compelling card featuring top middleweights and it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the card shakes out.

After defeating Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 34, what’s next for Jared Cannonier?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 34, we saw a big time matchup in the middleweight division headline the card. Jared Cannonier (14-5) was taking on former Ultimate Fighter winner Kelvin Gastelum (17-8, 1 NC).

Both men entered the contest with a lot to prove. Gastelum was at the top of the division just a couple of years ago but he’s recently fallen on hard times. The former TUF winner was entering Saturday just 1-4 in his last five.

Jared Cannonier was looking to get back into the UFC title picture himself. Last year, Cannonier was being called out by Israel Adesanya. However, before Cannonier could get a UFC title shot against Adesanya, he had to defeat former champion Robert Whittaker.

Cannonier ultimately came up short against Whittaker and never got that shot at Adesanya. With the stakes high for both men, UFC Vegas 34 looked like it was going to deliver a great main event.

The main event did deliver a solid contest. Cannonier and Gastelum fought a very close fight throughout. However, it was Cannonier who was landing the more forceful shots throughout and even dropping Gastelum once. Gastelum’s corner thought he won, but all three judges gave the fight to the Killa Gorilla which was the right call.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 34?

After the event, Cannonier said that he wanted to be active and get a fight when he can. Fortunately for him, the UFC has a few big middleweight fights coming up that could provide the perfect opponent.

One fight to watch out for is the UFC Vegas 36 headliner between Darren Till (18-3-1) and Derek Brunson (22-7). These two contenders are both ranked inside the top ten and whoever wins next Saturday will likely be in the top five.

Pairing Cannonier with the winner would potentially give the UFC middleweight champion a fresh contender. Another main event to watch out for is the headliner between Paulo Costa (13-1) and Marvin Vettori (17-4-1).

Both of those men are coming off losses in UFC title shots. They, like Cannonier, are at the very top of the division. The winner of this matchup would provide the highest ranked opponent for Cannonier, but with them not fighting until October, there will be more of a delay.

If Cannonier is really wanting to be active, next weekend’s main event is the one to watch. If either Till or Brunson come out clean with a victory, the UFC could pair them up with Cannonier at the end of the year.

Where does Kelvin Gastelum go after loss at UFC Vegas 34?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 34, we saw a big time headliner in the middleweight division. Top contender Jared Cannonier (14-5) was taking on former interim title challenger and Ultimate Fighter winner Kelvin Gastelum (17-8, 1 NC).

It’s been an interesting few years in the UFC for Kelvin Gastelum. In May of 2018, Gastelum edged out Jacare Souza and that win put him in line for a title shot against Robert Whittaker.

Gastelum was supposed to fight Whittaker in Australia, but Whittaker had to pull out the day of the fight. The UFC then created an interim title and had Gastelum fight Israel Adesanya. To date, Gastelum has still had the best fight against Israel Adesanya at 185 pounds.

That said, Gastelum fell short. That loss started a streak where Gastelum went just 1-4 in five fights. On Saturday night, he was looking to get back into the title picture with a win over Cannonier. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

At UFC Vegas 34, Cannonier was just a step ahead of Gastelum for three rounds. Gastelum was incredibly competitive, but couldn’t put it together enough to win three rounds. All three judges gave the fight to Cannonier with a 48-47 scorecard.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 34?

With this latest loss, Gastelum is now just 1-5 in his last six UFC appearances. After winning The Ultimate Fighter, Gastelum attempted to move down to the welterweight division. That seemed to be the division the UFC wanted him in and the one he’s best suited for.

However, after constantly struggling to make the weight, he moved up to 185 pounds. He started strong there with wins over Tim Kennedy and Vitor Belfort although the Belfort win was overturned due to THC in Gastelum’s system.

After the Belfort fight, Gastelum is just 3-6 in the UFC’s middleweight division. Granted, half of those losses were to UFC champions and the other half were to contenders ranked inside the top ten.

Now, you really have to think about what’s next for Gastelum. I’m with the UFC’s original plan in that I wish he could make 170 pounds. I don’t see any scenario where Kelvin Gastelum becomes at champion at 185. However, he would be a problem at 170 if he could do it.

That said, we know he’s not likely going down that path. So, what should the UFC do with him next? Well, I think it’s time for a bit of a reset. One option could be a fight with Brad Tavares (19-6). Tavares has won two straight and he’s just outside the top ten.

This would give Gastelum a ranked opponent still, but it would be the step back in competition he needs. Another option could be the winner of the upcoming matchup between Kevin Holland (21-7) and Kyle Daukaus (10-2).

These two are scheduled to fight in October and whoever wins will likely be looking for a ranked opponent. This is another potential matchup that makes sense for Gastelum. At the end of the day, if he’s staying at 185, it’s time to step back in competition.

Jared Cannonier edges Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 34

We had a big time middleweight showdown in the main event of UFC Vegas 34 tonight. Headlining the card was Jared Cannonier (13-5) who was taking on the tough Kelvin Gastelum (17-7, 1 NC).

In April of 2019, Gastelum fought Israel Adesanya for the interim UFC middleweight title. Gastelum gave Adesanya the best fight he’s ever had at middleweight, but came up short. After that, Gastelum lost back-to-back fights to Darren Till and Jack Hermansson.

Earlier this year, he won against Ian Heinisch to snap the losing streak. However, he then lost to former UFC champion Robert Whittaker. Gastelum has been taking on the best of the best, but he’s still just 1-4 in his last five.

Jared Cannonier turned his career around when he moved down to 185. Cannonier debuted in the UFC at heavyweight. He then dropped to light heavyweight before finally settling at middleweight.

So far, he’s 3-1 with three stoppages at 185. He was in a title eliminator at UFC 254 against Robert Whittaker, but he came up short. Cannonier also broke his arm in that fight and it’s kept him out since then.

UFC Vegas 34 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 34 main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Cannonier opened the striking with a jab and a high kick attempt. Gastelum was looking to attack the body with a jab in the opening seconds.

Nice leg kick lands for Gastelum. Cannonier holds the center and explodes into a combination off a counter. Gastelum then pushes forward with his own combination and Cannonier circles out.

Lots of pressure for Cannonier who lands a beautiful body kick. Nice 1-2 lands for Cannonier as Gastelum looks to get on the inside. Leg kick for Gastelum lands and he follows it with his own 1-2. Two brutal kicks land for Cannonier with the finishing kick landing flush on the calf.

Gastelum wings a massive left that just misses the mark. Nice left straight lands for Cannonier who seems more measured late in the round. Lots of movement from Gastelum here as he looks to hold the center.

Big 1-2 lands for Cannonier. Gastelum pushes forward and lands a grazing right hand. Leg kick lands for Gastelum, but there wasn’t much on it. The round comes to a close and it’s 1-0 Cannonier at UFC Vegas 34.

Round 2

Gasteum’s corner was asking for more kicks in between rounds at UFC Vegas 34. Entering the second, Gastelum was very light on his feet while Cannonier was plotting forward. Cannonier was looking for a bomb, while Gastelum was looking for volume.

Gastelum teases a takedown attempt, but circles back to the center. Jab to the body lands for Gastelum. Leg kick lands for Gastelum and Cannonier lands a counter jab. Power jab lands for Cannonier, but Gastelum counters with a clean combination.

Big calf kick lands for Cannonier. Pressure here from Gastelum as he looks for his openings. A nice combination lands for Gastelum and Cannonier is looking for a massive power shot. Cannonier is looking a little tired in the second round.

Gastelum lands a huge left hand and then spins to the back of Cannonier. They break and Gastelum lands a vicious 1-2 that draws a smile from Cannonier. Cannonier tries to answer back, but Gastelum is looking slick here in the second.

Cannonier whiffs on a big head kick attempt. Gastelum lands to the body and he looks for a combination, but Cannonier defends well. Cannonier lands a kick, but Gastelum counters with a beautiful combination. Round comes to a close and it’s 1-1 at UFC Vegas 34.

Round 3

Entering the third at UFC Vegas 34 and Gastelum appears to have all the momentum. Gastelum immediately takes the center to start the third and he moves forward to pressure Cannonier. Cannonier tries to explode into a combination but nothing lands.

Gastelum lands a jab, but Cannonier just misses a head kick. Then out of no where a massive right hook from Cannonier sits Gastelum down. Gastelum pops right up but he’s wobbly here. Cannonier looks for a head kick and just misses.

Somehow, Gastelum has seemed to recover insanely quickly. He shoots in for a takedown and almost gets Cannonier down. However, Cannonier defends well. Cannonier lands a big knee to the body and they break.

Cannonier throws two right hands, but they don’t seem to even phase Gastelum. Gastelum lands a beautiful combination and Cannonier is slowing down. Both men land beautiful shots with one minute left in the round.

Nice combination lands for Cannonier and he’s trying to remain composed near the end of the round. Gastelum circles on the outside and wings a couple of big shots. Lots of pressure here from Gastelum as the round ends. 2-1 Cannonier after two here at UFC Vegas 34.

Round 4

Gastelum looked much better in between rounds than Cannonier at UFC Vegas 34. Immediate pressure from Gastelum as the fourth round starts. Brutal body kick lands for Gastelum while Cannonier is head hunting.

Cannonier explodes forward and lands some big power shots and forces Gastelum to clinch. Gastelum pushes Cannonier against the fence and tries to get a takedown. However, Cannonier defends well and he forces a break.

Nice right straight lands for Cannonier. Gastelum lands a nice right hand and a leg kick as he circles. Cannonier holding the center while Gastelum is circling. Jab to the body lands for Gastelum and Cannonier counters with a nice right hook.

Cannonier just misses on a huge right hand and head kick. Gastelum lands another nice leg kick and he definitely looks fresher here in the fourth. A brief exchange occurs for both and it appears that Cannonier dropped Gastelum.

However, it wasn’t very clear. Both men land good shots as the round comes to a close and this round could have gone to either. I lean ever so slightly towards Cannonier which would put him up 3-1 at UFC Vegas 34.

Round 5

Entering the final round at UFC Vegas 34 and both corners think they’re up 3-1. Gastelum opens the striking in the final round with a jab to the body. Big power shots land for Cannonier and those definitely got Gastelum’s attention.

Power leg kick lands for Gastelum. Gastelum holding the center while Cannonier is circling in the final frame. Good combination lands for Gastelum and Cannonier steps in with a huge right hand counter. Beautiful jab lands from Gastelum.

1-2 over the top lands for Gastelum and he chains it into a takedown attempt. Gastelum briefly gets the takedown, but Cannonier pops right back up. Halfway through the round and this has been Gastelum’s round thus far.

Cannonier forces a break and were back to striking. Huge combination lands for Gastelum. Another nice combination from Gastelum and he’s pulling away with this fifth round. Cannonier throws a 1-2, but there’s no reaction from Gastelum.

Jab lands for Cannonier and there’s one minute left. Nice left hook lands for Gastelum and he lands a leg kick. He immediately tries to get a takedown, but Cannonier stays standing. Gastelum active here in the final seconds, but just as the bell sounds, Cannonier lands a huge knee.

I think Gastelum definitely takes the final round, but I have Cannonier winning the fight. That said, this fight could go either way at UFC Vegas 34.

Jared Cannonier def. Kelvin Gastelum by (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)