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.

After UFC Vegas 34, should Alexandre Pantoja be next for Brandon Moreno?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 34, we saw a pivotal matchup in the flyweight division. Alexandre Pantoja (23-5) was looking to pick up his second consecutive win while his opponent Brandon Royval (12-5) was looking to bounce back.

Pantoja entered the contest as the third ranked flyweight in the UFC. He’s had a very impressive run so far in his career with the promotion and this fight with Royval was a chance for him to make a statement about where he stands in the division.

The UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno (19-5-2) was in attendance as well so it made things even more intriguing. From the opening bell, this fight was all about Alexandre Pantoja.

He was able to control the fight and in the second round, he moved in for the kill. Pantoja was able to secure a dominant position on the back of Royval and locked in a rear naked choke.

Royval was forced to tap and Pantoja got the win at UFC Vegas 34. After the win, Pantoja called for a fight with Moreno and said that having defeated the champion previously, he should be next in line for the title.

Who should be next for the UFC’s flyweight title?

Pantoja does make an interesting argument. He’s ranked in the top three and he’s riding a two-fight win streak that should have him in the conversation for a UFC title shot.

That said, it might be a tough sell considering the two men that stand in front of him. Directly in front of him is Askar Askarov (13-0-1). Askarov and Pantoja just fought last year during the UFC’s first trip to Fight Island.

The Russian was able to defeat Pantoja be decision. Back in March, Askarov dominated Joseph Benavidez to pick up his third straight UFC victory. Like Pantoja, Askarov has also fought the champion. While Pantoja has a win over Moreno, Askarov fought him to a draw.

In front of Askarov is the former UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1). It’s crazy to think that if Figueiredo doesn’t land a kick that goes low, the UFC title picture at 125 would look completely different.

On the scorecards, Figueiredo would’ve defeated Brandon Moreno back in December. However, the deduction of a point due to the low kick caused the fight to end in a draw. In the immediate rematch, Moreno dominated and won the title.

Now, Figueiredo is calling for his rematch. The UFC is said to be considering it given how dominate Figueiredo was as champion. However, it’s far from a guarantee with Moreno leaning towards a new matchup after fighting Figueiredo two straight times.

I’m not sure what exactly is next at 125, but the flyweight division is incredibly intriguing right now. While Pantoja did look impressive over the weekend, I don’t believe he’s going to be next in line.

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)

UFC Vegas 34 Preview: Jared Cannonier – Kelvin Gastelum

We have a big time middleweight showdown in the main event of UFC Vegas 34 tomorrow night. Headlining the card is Jared Cannonier (13-5) who will be taking on the tough Kelvin Gastelum (17-7, 1 NC).

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

UFC Vegas 34 Preview: Clay Guida – Mark Madsen

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 34 we will see a fun matchup between grapplers at 155 pounds. Fan favorite Clay Guida (36-20) is back as he’s taking on former Olympic Silver Medalist, Mark Madsen (10-0).

The last time we saw the Carpenter was back in February when he took on former Ultimate Fighter finalist Michael Johnson. Both men were entering the contest on losing streaks so a win was a must-need. Guida was able to pick up the unanimous decision victory.

The Carpenter has been with the UFC since 2006 and he seems as lively as ever. After his win over Michael Johnson, Guida said that he wanted the UFC to give him some contenders so he can start climbing the division.

The promotion obliged in giving him Mark Madsen. Madsen will be making his third appearance with the UFC. He hasn’t fought since March of 2020 due to some injuries, but he’s back and ready to go.

Madsen defeated Austin Hubbard at UFC 248 in his last fight to advance to 2-0 in the octagon. The former Silver Medalist in Greco Roman is ready to get the biggest win of his MMA career tomorrow night.

UFC Vegas 34 Prediction

I’m very intrigued by this matchup in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 34. On one hand, you can think of this as a matchup between grapplers where one man has far more credentials than the other.

Guida has long been known for his wrestling. However, Madsen is just on another level in terms of grappling. We don’t see many Olympic Medalists in the UFC and when we do, they usually do very well.

While Guida normally likes to wrestle, he should try to keep this fight at distance. We’ve seen some sharp striking from Guida in the past, and his unorthodox movements could cause Madsen some problems.

If Madsen is able to get Guida against the fence or in a grappling position for two of these rounds, he’s going to pickup his third UFC win. I just don’t see Guida being able to outgrapple him.

However, Guida has the massive advantage in terms of cardio and he knows how to score points. I do believe you’re going to see Madsen have some success, but something tells me Guida is going to score more on the feet. In the third round, I really like Guida’s activity. Call me crazy, but I’m going with Clay Guida in a razor close fight.

Prediction: Clay Guida by Split Decision

UFC Vegas 34 Preview: Alexandre Pantoja – Brandon Royval

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 34, we will see a tremendous matchup in the flyweight division. Two of the division’s most exciting top contenders will battle it out as Alexandre Pantoja (23-5) takes on Brandon Royval (12-5).

Pantoja ranks third in the UFC‘s flyweight division while Royval is sixth ahead of tomorrow night’s matchup. This is the first time we’ve seen Brandon Royval since UFC 255 when he took on Brandon Moreno. In hindsight, that fight was a title eliminator.

Royval started out the round well, but Moreno really turned things around at the mid-point. Near the end of the round, Royval suffered an injury and Moreno followed up to get the TKO victory. It was revealed that Royval tore his labrum in the fight.

While it’s certainly a serious injury, Royval is back at UFC Vegas 34 after just under nine months away. Standing in his way is one of the most dangerous contenders in the division in Alexandre Pantoja.

In his last seven fights, Pantoja is 5-2. One of those wins came against the current UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno. We last saw him in February when he defeated Manel Kape by decision.

UFC Vegas 34 Prediction

This flyweight matchup at UFC Vegas 34 is already being looked at as the Fight of The Night. Both men love to bring it and both have extremely exciting styles that should compliment each other.

Brandon Royval really showed out in 2020 prior to the Moreno fight. He defeated Kai Kara-France and former title challenger Tim Elliot and looked good doing it. Obviously, he has slick skills on the ground and he’s very fluid on his feet.

That said, his injury at UFC 255 concerns me. Nine months seems like a quick turn around for a labrum injury and we really don’t know how he’s going to look. We do know what were going to get from Pantoja.

Pantoja is one of the hardest hitters in the division and he’s extremely talented. The power he possesses might cause some hesitancy from Royval. That combined with Royval returning from injury and I just like Pantoja from an activity standpoint. I think it’s really fun, but I have Pantoja winning here.

Prediction: Alexandre Pantoja by Unanimous Decision