Your UFC 234 Betting Predictions

This Sunday Robert Whittaker is set to defend his UFC Middleweight belt on home soil. The Aussie with his karate-boxing style takes on the boxing prowess of Mexican born Kelvin Gastelum in what should be an interesting showdown. The stakes are just as high in the co-main event with the winner from Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya given the next shot to hold UFC Middleweight gold.

The last time the UFC was in Melbourne it saw the reigning queen of the sport, Ronda Rousey the female champion with the most wins, lose her 12-0 record to Holly Holm a $6.9 underdog – one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history, is another upset on the cards?


ROBERT WHITTAKER (C) VS KELVIN GASTELUM

Gastelum has ‘knocked down’ every middleweight he has been in there with, he is a dangerous boxer. Can Whittaker withstand Gastelum’s power? Especially given the punishment he has taken from the last two Yoel Romero fights where Whittaker was knocked down several times.

The average age of the competitors Gastelum has knocked down over recent years is 38- this may not be comparable to the 28-year-old Whittaker. The market has Whittaker at $1.45. On a 9-fight win streak with 4 of those coming by TKO it’s hard to overlook the middleweight champion. Dangerous and interesting fight given they both stylistically like to keep it standing

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Robert Whittaker to win


ANDERSON SILVA VS ISRAEL ADESANYA

Anderson “The Spider” will make an appearance against what many consider his mirror image in fighting style against Israel “The Last Style Bender” Adesanya. This could be seen as Silva’s last chance for a title shot before retirement, or the passing of the torch to the next generation. Dana White confirming the winner will get next shot at the Middleweight belt.

Adesanya is the favourite and expected to dominate at $1.16, but despite Silva’s odds at $5.00 it’s worth noting he went 3 rounds with a heavyweight champion on 48 hours’ notice. He has been training with Alex Perera- the only person to KO Adesanya in a kick-boxing match. At 43 years of age will Silva’s reflexes be enough?

Adesanya went five rounds with Tavares and looked spectacular against Brunson, who Silva only narrowly won a split-decision over. We will side with favourite on this one

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Israel Adesanya to Win


JIM CRUTE VS SAM ALVEY

Crute, originally from Melbourne, has a lot of hype making his way onto the UFC scene from Dana White’s Contender Series which he won by KO. In his last fight he secured a submission win to remain undefeated at 9-0.

“Smiling” Sam Alvey is a great knock out artist with 11 KO’s to his name. He trained with Dan Henderson and he likes to keep the fights standing. Predominantly a middleweight he has moved up a division to fight at light-heavyweight. It will be interesting to see how much of Alvey’s KO power translates to success in the new division. This fight is evenly priced with a slight edge to Jim Crute.

There is a case for Alvey here as he is the seasoned veteran with 50 career fights however with a higher takedown average and better strike rate, we will back Crute.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Jim Crute to Win


KAI KARA-FRANCE VS RAULIAN PAIVA

New Zealand born Kai “Don’t Blink” Kara-France, at $1.33 trains with Israel Adesanya has fought in Japan in the RIZIN promotions and he made appearance on The Ultimate Fighter series. The fights need to be exciting as the Bantamweight division is under imminent danger of being cut by promoter Dana White. There are no better candidates to keep the division interesting with Kai’s 9 career KO’s and the Brazilian Paiva’s 12 fight win streak.

This will be Paiva’s first UFC appearance whilst Kai has faced some tough competition on the UFC scene. We will be backing Kai.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Kai Kara to Win


WULIJI BUREN VS JONATHAN MARTINEZ

This will be an interesting matchup as both competitors are coming off loses and be looking to bounce back into the win column.  Martinez is the favourite with 5 KO’s, whilst Buren is a grappler which likes to go for the single-leg take down and utilises chain wrestling to ground the fight. Buren has been susceptible to being hit with left hooks and left-hand shots in his last appearances and that is southpaw Martinez’s strength; his left hook which has secured victories before.

Given the level of competition Buren has faced in the UFC with the likes of grizzly veteran Marlon Vera in comparison to Martinez, we feel there is slight value here on Buren at $2.40

Betting Strategy

LAY – Martinez at 1.65


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