ISRAEL ADESANYA VS KELVIN GASTELUM HEADLINES UFC 236
The UFC interim middleweight title will be up for grabs later this spring, and I’ll offer my thoughts on the UFC’s latest title fight announcement in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum, UFC 236 With UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker injured, the UFC has decided to make an interim belt and it’ll be at stake at the main event at UFC 236, that can be set for April 13 in a yet-to-be-determined site. In the blue corner will be Israel Adesanya, fresh off his win over Anderson Silva in UFC 234, while in the red corner will be Kelvin Gastelum, who had his struggle against Whittaker taken away at the last second the afternoon of UFC 234.
The news of Adesanya vs. Gastelum was first reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. No location was declared, but rumors on Twitter possess the event pegged for Atlanta, Georgia, though that’s far from supported at this point.
Betting odds for the bout also were published here on MMAOddsBreaker.
Making an interim title will be contentious for a few considering what occurred last season with Colby Covington and Tony Ferguson winning handheld belts and then not getting shots in the undisputed names, but it was a requirement due to Whittaker never fought since last July against Yoel Romero. The UFC needed to keep the middleweight division moving together in his absence, so up to this writer’s opinion is concerned, an interim title at 185lbs was certainly the correct decision from UFC president Dana White and co..
As far as the matchup itself goes, the Adesanya vs. Gasltelum fight on paper looks like it has the potential to be a tremendous fight. Adesanya (16-0) is coming off of a decision win over the legend Silva and overall is 5-0 at the Octagon with other notable victories over Brad Tavares and Derek Brunson. At age 29, Adesanya is smack dab into his prime and shows improvements virtually every moment we see him fight. Sure, the Silva fight was not his very best performance, but he still got his hand raised, took no more damage in the process, and the win ended up making him a title shot. Gastelum (15-3, 1 NC) is 10-3, 1 NC overall at the UFC and he’s got a 4-1, 1 NC record as a middleweight. Gastelum is coming off of back-to-back wins over Michael Bisping and Ronaldo”Jacare” Souza and in age 27 he is correct in his prime as well. Both Adesanya and Gastelum are two of the very best middleweights around Earth at this time, and considering the striking acumen of both men, this has the capacity to be a firefight.
As far as the chances go, they have not been published yet, but I’d expect the offshore sportsbooks to give something up for the fight soon. When I had to guess, Adesanya are the betting favorite, though Gastelum absolutely is going to be a live dog in this fight due to his knockout power. It’ll be interesting to find out what other conflicts are going to be added to UFC 236 in the coming weeks, but this interim title fight between Adesanya and Gastelum is a superb beginning to the card reservations.
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