The upcoming UFC on ESPN 22 event will showcase an exciting main event battle between two middleweight contenders. As both fighters look to improve for title discussion, Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum will each need to try and get past each other. That being said, let’s take a closer look at both fighters so you can bet against their UFC odds.
UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Gastelum Analysis
- Date: Saturday, April 17 at 9:00 PM
- Location: UFC Apex
- Watch Live on: ESPN
Main Event Breakdown
Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker (23-5-0)
Whittaker has recently put forth two straight unanimous decision victories looking back at 2020. He took care of his most recent opponent, Jared Cannonier, back in October that was led by strong striking and stamina.
Looking into his fighting profile, you can see that he has nine victories by knockout, five by submission, and another eight by decision. He has also put together a string of four first-round knockout finishes and two solid back-to-back wins over Yoel Romero.
He strikes with an accuracy at about 40 percent and has grappling accuracy that is slightly poor at 27 percent. He delivers 4.52 significant strikes a minute while also taking on 3.44.
Whittaker typically defends against takedowns at a moderate rate of 84 percent and defends against significant strikes at 60 percent. He also spends a lot of time striking since he only averages 0.43 takedowns per 15 minutes of action.
Kelvin Gastelum (17-6-0)
Gastelum is returning to the octagon with a unanimous decision victory of his own against Ian Heiniech just a few months ago in February. This was a much-needed victory, as he faced three straight losses to top names such as Jack Hermansson, Darren Till, and Israel Adesanya.
Looking into this fighting profile, it shows that he has a well-rounded resume of six victories by knockout, four by submission, and another six by decision. He also is not shy of ending a fight early, with seven first-round finishes in conjunction with knockouts and submissions.
He strikes with an accuracy at 43 percent and has a decent grappling accuracy at 39 percent. He delivers 3.64 significant strikes each minute and takes on 2.92.
Gastelum defends against takedowns at 64 percent and defends against significant strikes at 59 percent. He is also somewhat active on the ground, averaging 1.22 takedowns and 0.10 submissions every 15 minutes of action.
Odds For Main Event
Whittaker takes over as the moderate favorite in the betting market. For the moneyline, MyBookie’s odds are currently set at:
- Whittaker: -270
- Gastelum: +210
*odds are subject to changes
Potential Winning Pick
Gastelum is prepared for this fight when you look at recent performances. For one, he showed an aggressive six takedowns against Heiniech when he typically averages just one a fight.
Causing the fight to stay on the ground is going to be his best advantage. However, Whittaker has a high takedown defense.
Whittaker also took care of Darren Till, which is someone that Gastelum lost to by split decision. You should look for this one to be a long-distance fight, tipping in Whittaker’s favor.
Prediction: Whittaker wins via decision