On August 21, UFC on ESPN 29 will take place at UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada. The headlining of the event is going to be a middleweight bout between Jared Cannonier (13-5-0) and Kelvin Gastelum (17-7-0).
How they got here
Cannonier started his career as a heavyweight, switched to light heavyweight, and since 2018 has been one of the most formidable contenders in the middleweight.
The No. 3 ranked contender said he wanted to be active after losing against former Champion Robert Whittaker. Every top contender had booked their bouts; Only Gastelum was free, the No. 9 ranked contender, so the two signed the contract, and UFC scheduled the bout.
The 37-year-old Cannonier has 9 KO victories out of his 13 professional MMA wins. He defeated names like Jack Hermansson and Anderson Silva in the middleweight.
Kelvin Gastelum, on the other hand, has had a tough time in his career. The “Kings MMA” student is only 29 years old and has a veteran’s experience. He was defeated four times in his last five contests, but he only get into the octagon with the best. His past five opponents have an average record of 19.6 – 4.
Those fights include guys like the current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who Gastelum came very close to beating. After that fight, he was defeated again by Darren Till via a split decision in a tight battle.
More recently, in 2021, he’s fought twice. At UFC 258, he defeated Ian Heinishch via a unanimous decision. After that, Robbert Whittaker defeated him via unanimous decision in a 5 round battle.
For Gastelum, it is going to be a huge opportunity to climb into the top 5 again. Cannonier is the No. 3 ranked contender, and if Gastelum beats him, he will probably be back in the top 5, and a title shot could be next.
The Card Preview
Jared will have a significant advantage in reach if the fighters decide to test their powers in standing. Jared’s reach is 197 CM, and Kelvin’s Reach is 182, 15 CM less, but Kelvin proved against Adesanya that reach benefits mean nothing to him. The 37-year old opens the fight as a slight favorite (-145).
UFC veteran Clay Guida will fight against an Olympic champion in free wrestling, Mark Madsen, in the co-main event. Madsen is undefeated in MMA, with a record of 10 victories, and he opens this bout as a slight favorite. Clay Guida last fought against Michael Johnson, defeating him in a unanimous decision.
The rest of the card will feature the following fights:
MAIN CARD (ESPN/ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET)
- Parker Porter (262) vs. Chase Sherman (256)
- Trevin Jones (135) vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov (138.5)*
- Austin Hubbard (156) vs. Vinc Pichel (155.5)
- Alexandre Pantoja (126) vs. Brandon Royval (125.5)
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN2/ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)
- Austin Lingo (145.5) vs. Luis Saldana (146)
- Brian Kelleher (136) vs. Domingo Pilarte (136)
- Bea Malecki (135) vs. Josiane Nunes (136)
- Fabio Cherant (205) vs. William Knight (206)
- Ignacio Bahamondes (154) vs. Roosevelt Roberts (154.5)
- Ramiz Brahimaj (171) vs. Sasha Palatnikov (170)
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