Gastelum will be making the walk tomorrow night as the ninth ranked middleweight in the UFC. A couple of years ago, Gastelum looked like he was going to be a future champion. However, his career has really turned since 2019.
In April of 2019, Gastelum fought Israel Adesanya for the interim 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 Prediction
When it comes to the UFC Vegas 34 main event, I’m very curious to see the gameplan of Kelvin Gastelum. When Gastelum won against Ian Heinisch earlier this year, he really leaned on his wrestling.
He had gone away from his wrestling in recent fights, but went back to his routes and got the win. Gastelum was unable to use his wrestling against Robert Whittaker and was ultimately outclassed in his last fight.
Cannonier will be the much bigger man tomorrow night. He will have a significant reach advantage as well as a power advantage. Gastelum is going to need to use his speed and mix things up.
I’m expecting to see Cannonier attack with leg kicks early on at UFC Vegas 34. In the distance striking exchanges, I really like the power and precision of Cannonier. While I wouldn’t rule Gastelum out, I think Cannonier is just going to be too much.
I see Cannonier bouncing back tomorrow night and getting the win. That said, Gastelum’s key could be his cardio and wrestling. If Gastelum gets his hand raised tomorrow, I have a feeling it will be due to the cardio advantage and later round success. However, I don’t see it happening.
Prediction: Jared Cannonier by Unanimous Decision