PREVIEW: Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Featured Image Credit: Low Kick MMA
It is FIGHT WEEK. The UFC heads down to Atlanta, Georgia where we are treated to TWO (interim) TITLE FIGHTS! The first of those two is Israel Adesanya against Kelvin Gastelum.
Israel Adesanya is conducting his own hype train. While he did not knock out Anderson Silva, he put on a show for the fans and they (including myself) ate it up. He is one of the most exciting fighters on the feet in all of MMA. He has shown that he can stuff the occasional takedown, and his counter-striking has also been elite thus far. Kelvin is going to have his hands full if he wants to strike with Adesanya in this one. He has mentioned that he may be able to fight Whittaker to unify the belt in a 80,000 capacity arena in Australia, but he first has to get past a legitimate BEAST in Gastelum.
Gastelum is a legend killer. He beat down Tim Kennedy, Vitor Belfort (before popping for the green stuff), Michael Bisping, and Jacare Souza. That is a very impressive resume at 185. He is a very technical boxer whose hands are heavy. He also is a more-than-adept grappler, so he is strong wherever this fight will go. He is one of the few guys in MMA that have seemed to find their true weight class by moving up and avoiding such a harsh weight cut. He always looks crisp and game to go the distance, which may just happen on Saturday night.
It will be interesting to see how the two go into the fight. I assume Adesanya will try to keep the distance, as he is the longer fighter, while Gastelum will push the pace and try to get inside of Adesanya’s reach and make things hard for him. If the fight goes to the ground, it will be a HUGE test for Adesanya, who has yet to face an elite grappler in MMA. Either way, these guys seem to epitomize new-age MMA, not severely lacking in any single dimension of MMA, at least that we know of.
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