Followers of Mixed Martial Arts have a fantastic evening of action to look forward to on Saturday 13th April. The Ultimate Fighting Championship brings us the latest card from their series – UFC 236. Venue? The State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia plays hosts and UK fans can keep pace with the fights of note live on BT Sport. Here are our top Israel Adesanya v Kelvin Gastelum betting tips.
The main event pairs Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier at lightweight with the interim UFC title on the line in what will also double as a long-awaited rematch. It has an advertised start time of 4.00am GMT and that will provide a challenge to fans planning to stay up late and catch the fight in real-time; however, there’s plenty on the undercard to hold your attention and keep you sharp.
The main event is supported by Kelvin Gastelum v Israel Adesanya at middleweight and Eryk Anders v Khalil Roundtree Jr at light heavyweight. Alan Jouban and Dwight Grant face off in the welterweight division; meanwhile, the roll is completed by a light heavyweight clash involving Ovince Saint Preux and Nikita Krylov.
There’s lots more MMA action from the preliminary card and early preliminary card which is available to view on ESPN and the UFC Fight Pass; this will give dedicated fans an update on the careers of Matt Frevola; Wilson Reis; Max Griffin; Curtis Millender; Andre Soukhamthath; Poliana Botelho and Brandon Davis.
A host of evenly matched bouts will keep fight fans involved from the first buzzer and the many betting markets offered by bookmakers grants us the chance to spice up the evening with a punt. Pick the winners of the evening’s best fights with the intention of nicking a profit from the card, or throw them together in a big priced accumulator, designed to land a killer blow on the bookies.
Those looking for more can look beyond the fight winner market and play the method of victory which challenges us with predicting both the winner and how they will secure the result – points, submission or knockout. This is more difficult, of course; however, the prizes are far greater and those doing their research could provide a real injection of cash to their betting balance. Check each fighter’s recent form and you may notice a run of knockout wins, or a string of fights that have gone the distance.
We have previewed the main event in more detail elsewhere on this site, visit the betting tips section for a closer look at the Holloway v Poirier betting, or read on as we pick through the talking points of an undercard bout that has really captured our attention.
Comfortable in all Aspects
Kelvin Gastelum is a 27-year-old southpaw fighter who has experience fighting in both the welterweight and middleweight categories. He has a style heavily reliant on his past experiences competing in boxing, wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu; this has resulted in him being a genuine all-rounder who is comfortable in all aspects of the fight.
The American brings a professional MMA record showing 15 wins from 19 fights with six of his victories to date coming by knockout and another four by submission. He’s an all-action combatant; however, he’s skilled enough to impress the scoring judges when it’s needed and has bagged the other five wins on his record on points.
There is one ‘no contest’ to mention: the result of a bout with Vitor Belfort in 2017 on UFC Fight Night Brazil. The original result read a TKO win for Gestelum and a performance of the night award; however, that was overturned at a later date when the victor tested positive for marijuana. A real set-back in his career and as well as knocking his title ambitions off-course, it also turned many of the sport’s purists against him. He has some making up to do, even to this day.
The best, and indeed quickest way, to get back in the good books is by winning the big fights and proving he has what it takes to mix it at the top level. Since that no contest, Gastelum has lost to Chris Weidman in New York in his comeback bout when suffering a submission, the result of an arm-triangle choke.
He did return to winning ways next time when knocking out Michael Bisping on UFC Shanghai in November of 2017. He then got a split decision win when paired with Ronaldo Souza on UFC 224 in May of last year; this victory helped move him back towards the big time.
Kelvin’s last two victories has seen him collect Performance of the Night and Fight of the Night awards; indeed, he looks like a man determined to salvage his career and make up for lost time. Despite that run of form, bookmakers have written him off as second favourite to complete the hat-trick and backers will find Ladbrokes offering a market best price of 13/8. With four of his last five failing to last the distance, backing the KO/TKO win should give lovers of a price a run for their money. We’ll have an interest stake on him pulling off the upset and beating Adesanya.
Favourite Too Short
Israel Adesanya is a Nigerian-born fighter coming to us from his New Zealand base. He has a history competing in kickboxing, boxing and Muay Thai and will be eager to stay on his feet when he can and get the big shots off against an opponent also looking to prove his punch power. A former professional boxer, he won five of six but has had more luck in MMA, winning each of his 16 previous starts.
He was last seen getting the decision over Anderson Silva on UFC 234 in Melbourne, a fight that also saw him win performance of the night. Taking a closer look at his recent form and we notice Israel has won three of his last four by decision; this is why another points cheer will make sense to those playing the method of victory market. The straight win for Adesanya is 4/7, top price at Bet365. That’s too short for us.