UFC 234 Preview – Action Down Under

Melbourne’s Rod Lavar Arena is playing host to UFC 234 this weekend and boy do we have a doozy. The Main and Co-Main Event Feature pivotal Middleweight clashes that will have lasting impacts on the middleweight title picture. The Main Event features a match between Mexican/American Challenger Kelvin Gastelum and the ANZ’s only UFC Champion Robert Whittaker for Whittaker’s Middleweight Strap. The Co-Main Event features New Zealander Israel Adesanya and the Greatest Middleweight of all Time in Anderson Silva.

Light Heavyweight: Jim Crute (-135) Vs. Sam Alvey (+115)

Dana White is big on Jim Crute and it’s pretty easy to see why. Undefeated as a professional, Crute pulverized the Australian Hex Fight Series like a wrecking ball and continued on with success against Paul Craig in his debut. He faces the well-traveled and battle-tested Sam Alvey who, oddly enough has never fought on a UFC Pay per view event. Alvey is 10-6 inside the UFC octagon, competing at both Middleweight and Light Heavyweight. Unfortunately, Alvey was stopped in his last fight by Legend Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. I think that with Crute’s youth and drive to put on a show in his hometown, he will get the victory by Decision. Jim Crute Def. Sam Alvey

Bantamweight: Rani Yahya (+110) Vs. Ricky Simon (-140)

This is a pretty fun Bantamweight fight to throw on the main card and it has many similarities to the co-main event as this could be seen as a Veteran Vs. Prospect battle. Quietly, Rani Yahya has gone 7-1 in his last eight fights taking five of those battles by Submission. Ricky Simon has had two UFC fights and won both of them, Albeit the first one very controversially. I’m looking at this fight strictly based on “Strength of Schedule” and in the UFC, Rani Yahya has fought more high caliber fighters than Simon at this point in both their careers. I see tremendous value in Yahya if you were looking to make a bet. Rani Yahya Def. Ricky Simon

Middleweight: Anderson Silva (+470) Vs. Israel Adesanya (-770)

Anderson Silva returns to the octagon for the first time since he was gifted a decision win over Derek Brunson back at UFC 208. If it wasn’t for that atrocity of a judge’s scorecard, Silva would be on a 0-5 (1 NC) streak. Now, Silva gets to face a rising phenom in Israel Adesanya for a shot at the winner of Robert Whittaker Vs. Kelvin Gastelum. Adesanya is undefeated as a professional Mixed Martial Artist and is also a very accomplished Kickboxer, competing in promotions such as King of the Ring and Glory. The main story in this fight is the whole Past Vs. The future narrative, where Silva, the elder statesman of the division will try to fend off the young hungry lion in Adesanya. Honestly, I believe that Stylebender gets it done. Adesanya has shown that he has great takedown defense and he knows the mannerism’s of Anderson Silva very well as he studied him while rising through the ranks. Israel Adesanya Def. Anderson Silva

Middleweight Robert Whittaker (-265) Vs. Kelvin Gastelum (+215)

This fight is a dangerous one for the champion. Kelvin Gastelum is a Strong, Sturdy monster who was able to dispatch former champion Michael Bisping with one punch. After that performance, he defeated Jacare Souza by decision in Brazil to earn his shot at Gold. Whittaker is on a nine-fight winning streak that includes Finishes over Derek Brunson, Jacare Souza, and Brad Tavares, also included in that streak are two win’s over Actual Freak of Nature Yoel Romero. I see this fight as a point fighting match in which the two of them are gonna trade for the first three rounds and then I believe Whittaker will take over towards round four and take a Unanimous Decision victory. Robert Whittaker Def. Kelvin Gastelum

Other Selections:

Women’s Flyweight: Montana de la Rosa (-250) Def. Nadia Kassem (+200)

Lightweight: Devonte Smith (-230) Def. Dong Hyun Ma (+190)

Featherweight: Shane Young (-300) Def. Austin Arnett (+250)

Flyweight: Kai Kara-France (-290) Def. Raulian Paiva (+240)

Bantamweight: Teruto Ishihara (+300) Def. Kyung Ho Kang (-360) – ILMB

Lightweight: Lando Vannata (-400) Def. Marcos Rosa (+335)

Lightweight: Callan Potter (UNL) Def. Jalin Turner (UNL)

Bantamweight: Jonathan Martinez (-145) Def. Wuliji Buren (+130)

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