Who wins the interim middleweight championship fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya?
Cole Henry, Host – MMA Scope Podcast
I would have picked Adesanya at any point before today but I’m now leaning towards Gastelum. It’s going to be tough for Gastelum to get inside against a guy who is so good at managing range, but if he can do it, I think we might see him attempt to wear Adesanya out with wrestling in the early rounds. We’ve seen that Adesanya has good takedown defence, but can he get up from underneath a good wrestler? If Gastelum can’t close the distance than he could be in for a very long night of getting picked apart by a very good kickboxer, but I think he can get it done.
Frank Hyden, Columnist – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
I’m going with Gastelum by decision. I think we get a version of paralysis by analysis from Adesanya as he tries to feint and be elusive and that opens the door for Gastelum to win in what most will consider a disappointing fight. I hope I’m totally wrong on this and we get an exciting fight but I’ve been burned by these types of fighters before so we’ll see. I think Gastelum will do just enough to pull off the decision.
Sean Covington, Columnist – Covington’s Corner
Please let Gastelum derail the hype train that is Israel Adesanya. Israel was far from impressive in that fight against Anderson Silva, not just in my opinion, he didn’t do #@&$! And that’s A FACT OF LIFE. That fight came off like Michael Venom Page vs Paul Daley to me; tons of hype but uneventful. Expect running and ducking when things get tough for Israel and just flat out non-engaging fight from Israel; kinda like Silva vs Diaz. I got Gastelum losing because he won’t be able to get a hold of Israel. Israel Adesanya by a boring decision that he should lose because he played it too safe. There is a chance Gastelum catches Israel but I doubt it because he will literally be running.
Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Managing Editor
It’s interesting to see that the pendulum has swung so far over to Gastelum’s side as this fight has gotten closer, at least on this site. Betting odds are still favoring Adesanya, but many are leaning towards Gastelum and so am I. Gastelum has likened this fight to his UFC debut against Urijah Hall, and I agree with that comparison. Hall was a very dynamic and difficult to predict striker and Gastelum was able to solve that puzzle by keeping the pressure on and closing the distance as much as possible. A similar strategy should be effective against Adesanya and Gastelum may even be able to pull off a TKO victory if he catches his opponent off guard.