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MMA

Whittaker v Gastelum Heads A Cracking UFC Fight Night Card

The UFC Fight Night is back once again this weekend, and we have two co-main events to look forward to in what looks like being an excellent evening of combat sports.

In the co-main event, Lightweight Jeremy Stephens (28-18-0, 1NC) will take on Drakkar Klose (11-2-1) in what promises to be a fantastic bout between two craftsmen of the octagon.

This will then be followed at the UFC Apex by the main event where middleweight Robert Whittaker (23-5-0) will go head-to-head against Kelvin Gastelum (17-6-0, 1NC) in what looks like being an explosive showdown.

With excellent support further down the card, including a heavyweight battle between Andrei Arlovski (30-20-0) and Chase Sherman (15-6-0), it promises to be a hugely entertaining evening of action and of course, there’s plenty of betting to be found on the event at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Whittaker V Gastelum Preview And Tips

This fight was originally slated to take place two years ago, but fell through and it has taken until now for former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker to lock horns with the former title-challenger Kelvin Gastelum.

The winner will move into a strong position to be champion Israel Adesanya’s next challenger and DraftKings have Whittaker as the -286 favorite to win the bout, with Gastelum the +225 outsider.

It is easy to understand why. After a poor 2019 by his own standards, when he lost to Adesanya, Whittaker bounced back in 2020 with wins over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier.

However, if Whittaker had problems in 2019, they were nothing compared to Gastelum’s issues which included three straight defeats (to Adesanya, Till and Jack Hermansson) and then a nine-month suspension for testing positive for marijuana following the Till fight.

A solid win over Ian Heinisch in February signalled better things, but it is going to be a big upset of Gastelum can land the win here.

Our Tip – The bookies don’t often get the odds wrong on these fight and they haven’t here. I’d back an early win for Whittaker, perhaps in the second round.

Jeremy Stephens V Drakkar Klose Preview And Tips

A firm fan favourite in the UFC, Jeremy Stephens is set to take on a tricky opponent in Drakkar Klose in Saturday’s co-main event. Ranked number 9 in the featherweight division, Stephens has moved up to lightweight for the first time since 2012.

He is hoping a change of division may help him break a four-bout losing streak which has included losses to some of the top performers in that division, such as Calvin Yattar and Jose Aldo.

It’s been three years since Stephen’s last win over Josh Emmett but he faces a tough test against Klose, who himself comes into this fight on the back of a defeat.

That loss to Beneil Darush at UFC 248 was a tough one to take for Klose, given that he had started his UFC career with five wins in his first six bouts. Although the boxers are separated in age by just one year, Stephens has been in the UFC considerably longer and I feel that could be key in terms of his durability here.

Our Tip – Stephen’s has more losses on his record (17) than any other UFC fighter and he has a tough task ahead of him here. I am taking Klose to win this by judges scorecard.

Full UFC Fight Night Card

Preliminary Card

  • Tracy Cortez v Justine Kish (Women’s Flyweight)
  • Alexandr Romanov v Juan Espino (Heavyweight)
  • Jessica Penne v Lupita Godinez (Women’s Strawweight)
  • Bartosz Fabinski v Gerald Meerschaert (Middleweight)
  • Austin Hubbard v Dakota Bush (Lightweight)
  • Zarah Fairn dos Santos v Josiane Nunes (Women’s Catchweight)
  • Tony Gravely V Anthony Birchak (Bantamweight)

Main Card

  • Luis Pena v Alex Munoz (Lightweight)
  • Abdul Razak Alhassan v Jacob Malkoun (Middleweight)
  • Andrei Arlovski v Chase Sherman (Heavyweight)
  • Jeremy Stephens v Drakkar Klose (Lightweight)
  • Robert Whittaker v Kelvin Gastelum (Middleweight)

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