The UFC interim middleweight title will probably be up for grabs after this spring, and I’ll give my thoughts on the UFC’s latest name combat announcement in the present MMA odds and ends.
UFC 236 vs. Kelvin Gastelum, israel Adesanya With UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker injured, the UFC has made a decision to create an interim belt and it will be at stake at the main event at UFC 236, which can be set for April 13 in a yet-to-be-determined location. In the blue corner will be Israel Adesanya, fresh off his win over Anderson Silva at UFC 234, while in the red corner will be Kelvin Gastelum, who had his struggle against Whittaker taken away at the last minute the day of UFC 234.
The information of Adesanya vs. Gastelum was first reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. No place was declared, but rumors on Twitter have the event pegged for Atlanta, Georgia, though that is far from confirmed at this point.
Betting odds for the bout also were published here on MMAOddsBreaker.
Making an interim title will be controversial for some considering what occurred last season with Colby Covington and Tony Ferguson winning handheld straps and not getting shots at the undisputed names, but it was a necessity because of Whittaker having not fought since last July against Yoel Romero. The UFC had to maintain the middleweight division moving along in his absence, therefore as far as this writer’s opinion is concerned, an interim title at 185lbs was absolutely the right decision by UFC president Dana White and co..
So far as the matchup goes, the Adesanya vs. Gasltelum struggle on paper looks like it has the capability to be a huge fight. Adesanya (16-0) is coming from a decision win over the legend Silva and overall is 5-0 at the Octagon with other notable victories over Brad Tavares and Derek Brunson. At age 29, Adesanya is smack dab into his prime and reveals improvements virtually every moment we see him struggle. Sure, the Silva fight was not his best performance, but he got his hand raised, took no more harm in the process, and the win ended up earning him a title shot. Gastelum (15-3, 1 NC) is 10-3, 1 NC overall in the UFC and he has a 4-1, 1 NC record as a middleweight. Gastelum is coming off of back-to-back wins over Michael Bisping and Ronaldo”Jacare” Souza and in age 27 he is right in his prime also. Both Adesanya and Gastelum are two of the very best middleweights around the planet right now, and contemplating the striking acumen of both men, this has the potential to be a firefight.
So far as the odds go, they have not been released yet, but I’d anticipate the offshore sportsbooks to give up something for the fight soon. If I had to guess, Adesanya will be the betting favorite, although Gastelum absolutely is going to be a live dog in this fight due to his knockout power. It will be interesting to see what other conflicts are going to be added to UFC 236 at the coming weeks, but this interim title fight between Adesanya and Gastelum is a superb start to the card bookings.
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