Tips For UFC Long Island Event
The Ultimate Fighting Championship takes its next event to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, with four fights on the main card.
Chris Weidman v Kelvin Gastelum
The main event of the evening sees middleweights Weidman and Gastelum go toe to toe in what should be one of the more intriguing duels of the night. Weidman was an unbeaten three-time middleweight champion just two years ago, but is now looking to arrest what has become a worrying slide inside the octagon.
The former champion is seeking to avoid a fourth successive defeat as the rails come off his career, and he goes into this next bout as the underdog. It could perhaps have been argued that home advantage would give him the edge, but it should also be noted that his two previous fights have been in his home state of New York, and both ended in devastating knock-out defeats for a man who such a short time ago seemed to have the world at his feet.
What makes this such an interesting contest, however, is the fact that Gastelum has been battling his own issues as well. He comes into this fight following a no-contest against Vitor Belfort on 11 March, a match he had originally won by first round TKO but which was overturned after Gastelum tested positive for marijuana.
The 25-year-old has also struggled with weight issues, failing to make the 170-pound mark, although his record as the 185-pound mark is excellent, with victories over the likes of Uriah Hall, Nate Marquardt and Tim Kennedy. With both men preferring a wrestling technique, this one could well go down to who strikes hardest and fastest, and Weidman, the cleaner striker of the two, should be able to get his career back on track in Long Island, despite Gastelum going into this contest as the slight favourite.
Odds: Chris Weidman (2.50), Kelvin Gastelum (1.57)
Dennis Bermudez v Darren Elkins
Bermudez and Elkins will form the co-main event as the former looks to recover from some recent setbacks. He has a record of nine victories and four defeats in the UFC, but comes into this fight as the clear favourite to take the victory.
Elkins may well be able to match his opponent in terms of pure wrestling skills, but what could let him down in this fight is his renowned fiery temperament. If Bermudez is able to provoke Elkins into dropping his guard, which is likely, then victory could be his relatively quickly.
Admittedly, Elkins comes into this bout on a high, having managed to knock out the highly fancied Mirsad Bektic. However, his striking is not as clean as Bermudez, and he is likely to suffer a knock out of his own this weekend.
Odds: Dennis Bermudez (1.40), Darren Elkins (3.00)
Patrick Cummins v Gian Villante
This one should be an interesting encounter between two fighters with distinct styles. Cummins, who holds a five-win and four defeats record in the UFC, loves to wrestle and, while his style may not be the prettiest on the eye, can be extremely effective when he is on his game.
However, he has generally lost to those at the very top of his division, and all four of his defeats to date have been via knock-out. If he tires as this fight nears its end – as has happened in the past – then he could well be looking at a fifth knock-out defeat in his UFC career.
And that is an aspect of this contest which could be right up Villante’s alley. Known for his high levels of athleticism as well as his sheer brute force in the cage, his striking ability and aggression will be needed here if he is to walk away triumphant.
This fight looks to be a very difficult one to call. Neither man could generously be described as being at the peak of their division, and Cummins is likely to just about edge it, should he be able to employ his wrestling attributes from the off.
Odds: Patrick Cummins (2.00), Gian Villante (1.80)
Jimme Rivera v Thomas Almeida
These two bantamweight contenders meet in what is a hugely important night for Rivera, a New York native. He is up against a huge obstacle, however, in Brazilian Almeida, who holds a mightily impressive record of 22 wins and a solitary defeat as a professional fighter.
Rivera, for his part, has the potential to go far in the UFC. He is currently unbeaten in the organisation, and has already defeated the likes of Urijah Faber, Iuri Alcanatara and Pedro Munhoz.
Almeida, however, can be almost brutally aggressive inside the octagon, and is known for his ability to knock out opponents. In the UFC, the Brazilian fighter has won five contest, four of which were via knock-out, including against Brad Pickett and Albert Morales.
This should be a fantastic fight and, with his strong wrestling skills and superior technical ability, expect Rivera to continue his potentially meteoric rise within the UFC.
Odds: Jimme Rivera (1.50), Thomas Almeida (2.70)