UFC 234: Whittaker vs. Gastelum

Preview and Predictions for UFC 234: Whittaker vs. Gastelum by Danny Rourke and Darell Garner

The UFC heads to the Outback in Melbourne, Australia 🇦🇺 this weekend for UFC 234: Whittaker vs. Gastelum. Plenty of Aussies will be in competition, including the UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker who looks to defend his title against Kelvin Gastelum. The legendary Anderson “the Spider” Silva returns in the Co-Main Event to face undefeated phenom Israel Adesanya. The action begins with:

UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims            6:30PM/ET
UFC on ESPN Prelims                       8:00PM/ET
UFC 234 PPV                                  10:00PM/ET

UFC 234 Main Card Predictions

Jim Crute (-140) vs. Sam Alvey (+120)

Australian prospect Jim “the Brute” Crute (9-0-0) looks to build off of his win over the BearJew Paul Craig in his UFC debut, as Crute meets Smilen’ Sam Alvey(33-11-0,1NC) in a Light Heavyweight matchup to kickoff the Main Card. Jim Crute will have the advantage of fighting on home soil, while Sam Alvey is just happy to be fighting on a numbered UFC event and PPV, for the first time, in his seventeenth appearance inside the Octagon. Alvey is 2-1 since moving up to Light Heavyweight, losing via Second Round TKO to Antônio Rogério Nogueira in his last fight at UFC São Paulo in September 2018. We will find out what the Brute is made of if he manages to get past a seasoned veteran like Alvey. So don’t be surprised either, if you see Sam Alvey Smilen’ at the end of this contest. This one is a coin flip. 

Danny’s  Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Alvey via First Round KO 

D’Bo’s Picks: Alvey via Decision 

#14 Montana De La Rosa (-265) vs. Nadia Kassem (+225)

Montana De La Rosa (9-4-0) aims to improve to 3-0 in the UFC as she welcomes Nadia ‘187’ Kassem (5-0-0) to the Women’s Flyweight division. Alternating between fighting at Strawweight and Flyweight, but finishing all four of her professional fights by knockout, Nadia Kassem made her promotional debut at Strawweight, defeating Alex Chambers at UFC Sydney in 2017 by unanimous decision.  A slip and fall accident injuring her back resulted in a fourteen month layoff for Kassem, preventing her from training with her camp at Australia Top Team. She draws a tough opponent in Montana De La Rosa, who plans to continue proving that she is a force to be reckoned with in the Flyweight division after submitting her first two opponents in the Octagon. That kind of finishing rate is certainly going to draw attention, and another big win for Montana will see her continue her climb towards becoming a title contender. 

Danny’s  Crystal Ball Prediction

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: De La Rosa via First Round Submission 

D’Bo’s Picks: De La Rosa via Second Round Submission 

#15 Rani Yahya (-105)vs. Ricky Simon (-115)

Rani Yahya (26-9-0,1NC) will try to make it eight wins 
In his last nine fights as he meets rising prospect Ricky Simon (14-1-0), who has yet to taste defeat since joining the UFC. Yahya has pulled off three consecutive Submission wins, utilizing a different Submission in each of his victories  over Luke Sanders (heel hook), Russell Doane (arm-triangle choke) and Enrique Briones (kimura). Following up his last second Guilotine Submission of Merab Devashivili in his Octagon debut at UFC Atlantic City last April, Simon put on another solid performance in his Unanimous Decision win over Montel Jackson in August at UFC 227. Simon plans on replacing Yahya in the Bantamweight rankings, but I believe the tricky veteran will have some tricks up his sleeve for Simon. 

Danny’s  Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Yahya via Second Round Submission 

D’Bo’s Picks: Yahya via First Round Submission 

#6 Israel Adesanya (-670) vs. #15 Anderson Silva (+485)

The Last Stylebender Israel Adesanya (15-0-0) faces Anderson “the Spider” Silva (34-8-0,1NC) in a dream matchup of the Legend vs.the Phenom. Israel Adesanya has took the UFC by storm, going 4-0 with since joining the promotion in February 2018. After a lot of prefight bickering back and forth, Adesanya talked the talk and walked the walk against Derek Brunson, winning their bout at UFC 230 in Madison Square Garden via First Round KO. The Last Stylebender admits looking up to the great Anderson Silva, but Israel must know that a shot a the Middleweight title will be the prize if he can defeat his childhood hero. Anderson Silva, 44, returns to action on the heels of a two year suspension,having last competed inside the Octagon at UFC 208 in February 2017, earning a questionable Unanimous Decision against Derek Brunson. Silva is just 1-4-0,1NC in his last six fights and has not finished an opponent since defeating Stephen Bonnar via First Round TKO at UFC 153 in 2012! I’m not going to say that the Spider is no longer capable of such a performance, but it is a tall order to expect Anderson to finish an opponent such as Adesanya. With backgrounds in kickboxing this should still be an entertaining affair between talented strikers. I think Israel Adesanya will get the better of Silva, and be next in line to challenge for the winner of the UFC 234 Main Event for the Middleweight title. 

Danny’s  Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Adesanya via Second Round KO 

D’Bo’s Picks: Adesanya via First Round KO 

MAIN EVENT— UFC Middleweight Championship 

{C} Robert Whittaker (-250) vs. #4 Kelvin Gastelum (+200)

In the UFC 234 Main Event, “The Reaper” Robert Whittaker (20-4-0) will take on challenger Kelvin Gastelum (15-3-0,1NC) in his second Middleweight title defense. Whittaker overcame Yoel Romero in a Fight of the Night Performance to claim the Interim Middleweight Championship in their first meeting at UFC 213 in July 2017. Whittaker, aka Bobby Knuckles, would miss the next eleven months with a left knee injury and a serious staph infection. It was the staph infection that forced Whittaker from making his first title defense against Luke Rockhold in Perth, Australia at UFC 221. Yoel Romero would replace Whittaker in the UFC 221 Main Event, and defeat Rockhold via Second Round KO, setting up a future rematch with Whittaker in June 2018 at UFC 225. Despite Yoel Romero failing to make Championship weight, the pair battled in a five round war, with Whittaker escaping with a unanimous decision, in a nominated Fight of the Year, and earning another Fight of the Night Performance bonus. The Reaper is on a current nine fight win streak, and is a perfect 8-0 at Middleweight. Kelvin Gastelum intends  on playing the role of spoiler and putting an end to Robert Whittaker’s title reign. Gastelum went 4-1-0, 1 NC over his last six fights to earn a title shot, highlighted by wins over former Champion Michael Bisping and Jacare Souza. Gastelum is a tremendous boxer,and has never been knocked out in his professional career. Both fighters are extremely durable, but one must think Gastelum has to be the fresher of the two, considering the battle Whittaker had with Romero in his last defense. I love Whittaker’s grit and heart, but I think Gastelum may be his huckleberry this weekend. 

Danny’s  Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Gastelum via Second Round KO 

D’Bo’s Picks: Whittaker via Decision 

Next weekend, former Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez returns to face Francis Ngannou in the headlining bout of UFC on ESPN 1, at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. Share your thoughts and picks with us in the Comments section below and enjoy the fights!

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One Comment

  1. Dbo giving no respect to the legendary Spider. I think stylebender wins 3rd round Ko. I cant say anderson would be beaten in the first round.

    Title fight i have the champ winning 4th round tko. I think gastelum is going to be caught a couple times each round and wont whether the storm in the 4th round.

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