Jared Cannonier vs Kelvin Gastelum


The middleweight pursuit of Jared Cannonier (13-5) was stopped by Robert Whittaker last October. After fighting heavy and light heavyweight, Cannonier eventually dropped to 185 more natural pounds and instantly became a middleweight problem. He dropped David Branch (2018), Anderson Silva (2019), and Jack Hermansson (2019) by TKO to prepare for a number one contender fight. However, he was outmatched by one of the greatest middleweights of all time losing by unanimous decision and even suffered a broken arm in the first round.

Cannonier was scheduled to fight Paulo Costa, but the Brazilian had to retire again, which has made room for another space in the main event for Kelvin Gastelum (16-7 (1)). He is also coming off a humiliation delivered by Whittaker losing a unanimous decision in April. That was Gastelum’s fourth loss in his last five, which is a problem when you’re fighting the best in the division. Israel Adesanya edged him out in that epic interim title fight, Darren Till squeaked past on a split decision and then was subdued by Jack Hermansson. He broke the skid by overtaking Ian Heinisch, but now he has a mountain to climb to avoid five losses out of six.


Cannonier has only lost to Shawn Jordan, Jan Blachowicz, Dominic Reyes, and Whittaker. There are very few middleweights that can beat any of them. Gastelum’s only weakness is his size as a middleweight and Cannonier has eight heavyweight wins and is even better at 185 pounds. He will have a six-inch reach and a considerable power advantage.

However, Gastelum’s boxing, hand speed, and durability allowed him to become a title contender and we finally saw him fight Heinisch. If he mixes them up, he has a chance. He can’t just rely on boxing from him, and he’s a better fighter than Cannonier, so he needs to have a game plan based on his fight. He needs to constantly threaten his 1-2 lightning down the pipe like a counter while he changes levels to secure a takedown.

However, he needs a flawless performance that is hard to see considering his form. We expect most of the fight to stay on, where Cannonier should lead the exchanges. He’s likely to do the most damage with leg kicks to knock Gastelum down and stick with his hands.

We’ve seen Gastelum take down bigger, more powerful opponents, and he has a granite chin, so he’ll always be in the fight. However, Cannonier has the ability to match his power and even though he is not on the level of Adesanya or Whittaker, his technique, size, and scope swing firmly in his favor, but Gastelum is always a good shout. like a dog.

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