UFC 234 is by far one of the more underrated cards we will have this year. You’re not going to necessarily get your biggest primetime athletes on this card, but that’s OK. Let’s start off with the fact that a majority of the fights on this card have the potential for complete chaos. Robert Whittaker taking on Kelvin Gastelum?! Both fighters will stand and trade in the pocket. Anderson Silva going up against the modern version of himself?! Please. What more can anyone ask for? A lot of fighters can make a name for themselves on this card as well. I’m sure many of you want help placing your bets for tomorrow so without no further ado, let’s get into these predictions.
[C] Robert Whittaker (20-4) vs. #4 Kelvin Gastelum (15-3, 1NC)
This is one of the more slept on fights of the year. Both fighters are brawlers. Both fighters look for the knockout. Whittaker is a lot more technical than Gastelum however. Gastelum is a great fighter who will, no doubt, hold his own. The problem here is whether he has the technical ability to outlast Whittaker for 5 rounds. He did go up against Tyron Woodley in what was a very close fight so experience at this level is nothing THAT new for Gastelum. Whittaker on the other hand, is coming off two straight wins against the goliath, Yoel Romero. I personally didn’t think anyone in that division had a shot against Yoel, but this dude Whittaker took home a win twice. He is as tough as nails and is as technical as it gets on the feet. He also has a little bit of a size advantage on Gastelum. I love both fighters and I know its going to be a crazy fight. I just have to go with Whittaker in this one.
Prediction: Whittaker via 4th Rd. KO/TKO
#6 Israel Adesanya (15-0) vs. #15 Anderson Silva (34-8, 1NC)
Anderson Silva vs. Anderson Silva 2.0. I’d like to think this would be a phenomenal striking battle. If Anderson fights like he did when he was in good form, he could win this fight. I mean we’re talking about the greatest striker in MMA history. Israel is just that young, hungry up-and-comer that wants to seize all the glory. He is one of the most talented strikers on the UFC roster, if not the most talented. I don’t think old man Anderson will be able to last that long with this budding star. Give me Israel in one round.
Prediction: Adesanya via 1st Rd. KO/TKO
#15 Rani Yahya (26-9, 1NC) vs. Ricky Simon (14-1)
Rani Yahya has been around since the WEC days. He’s fought notable fighters in the lighter weight divisions, namely Takeya Mizugaki, Joseph Benavidez, and Chad Mendes. He’s extremely dangerous on the ground and has lethal Muay Thai skills as well. Ricky Simon on the other hand is destined for a breakout. He believes he can be the future of the bantamweight division and stated that this Saturday will be his coming out party. This man is undefeated in the UFC and can finish his opponents on the feet or on the ground. He is a vicious killer who looks for the finish no matter where the fight goes. Ricky says its his coming out party and I believe him. Give me Ricky in one round baby.
Prediction: Simon via 1st Rd. KO/TKO
#14 Montana De La Rosa (9-4) vs. Nadia Kassem (5-0)
Dana White sure loves his Australians in Australia. I’m going to go ahead and take Nadia Kassem in this fight. I love her standup game. She’s crisp and is good at earning finishes. She’s been training in Tae-Kwon-Do for the majority of her life. De La Rosa will be extremely dangerous if this fight goes to the ground. If this fight stays standing, which I think is very plausible, I will have to give it to Kassem. She will out-point De La Rosa throughout the fight before taking home a decision victory.
Prediction: Kassem via unanimous decision
Jimmy Crute (9-0) vs. Sam Alvey (33-10, 1NC)
I have been waiting for this guy to fight for a while. Jimmy Crute is a young and hungry stud. He is vicious inside of the octagon, as he is constantly pushing the pace. He is a very aggressive fighter who constantly looks for the finish. Sam Alvey is a seasoned veteran who will definitely pose some problems for Crute if Crute gets a little reckless. My only problem with Crute is that he doesn’t have that good of patience sometimes. Nonetheless, he’s my guy and I’ll take him in this fight.
Prediction: Crute via 2nd Rd. KO/TKO