A pivotal fight in the welterweight division will take place on Saturday night when Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum face off in the main event of UFC Fight Night. The fight keeps the winner on the fringes of title contention while the loser will face a very long road back to discussions of a shot at the belt. UFC Fight Night: Jared Cannonier vs. Kelvin Gastelum watch the live stream here:
UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs. Gastelum
22 August 2021
UFC APEX, Las Vegas, NV
Both Cannonier and Gastelum are coming off losses in their most recent fights, both dropping decisions to Robert Whittaker. Cannonier’s loss to Whittaker came in October 2020 in a fight that was pitched as a No. 1 contender fight to face middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. The loss snapped an impressive three-fight winning streak in which all three wins came by TKO. The streak also started after Cannonier dropped to the middleweight division after stints at both heavyweight and light heavyweight.
The 29-year-old vows that mixed martial arts fans will get the best version of himself Saturday night, which will mark his 20th UFC fight.
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“It was probably one of the best camps that I’ve ever had in my life,” Gastelum told DAZN News earlier in the week. “No one has ever fought this version of myself in the UFC as of yet and I’m excited to showcase it.”
Main Card (ESPN/ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET)
Jared Cannonier vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Clay Guida vs. Mark O. Madsen
Parker Porter vs. Chase Sherman
Trevin Jones vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov
Vinc Pichel vs. Austin Hubbard
Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Royval
Preliminary Card (ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET)
Austin Lingo vs. Luis Saldana
Brian Kelleher vs. Domingo Pilarte
Bea Malecki vs. Josiane Nunes
William Knight vs. Fabio Cherant
Roosevelt Roberts vs. Ignacio Bahamondes
Sasha Palatnikov vs. Ramiz Brahimaj
Cannonier’s best shot is to compromise Gastelum’s lead leg in the early going and force him into close-quarters exchanges while he’s still fresh. As tough as Gastelum is, I’m not sure anyone at 185 can stand up to a sustained burst from “The Killa Gorilla.” So long as Gastelum can neutralize his low kicks with takedown attempts and keep busy enough to wear Cannonier out without staying in the line of fire, though, I like him to stop a flagging Cannonier in the championship rounds.
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