Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum
This is such a fantastic fight between two middleweights in their prime. Gastelum will be the best fighter Adesanya has fought so far in his young MMA career. I’m feeling forced to side with Adesanya due to his striking, countering, and speed on the feet. I think Gastelum will keep it standing and not really opt to go for takedowns, even if he does, I don’t think he will have much success with them. Adesanya has done very well defending takedowns against great wrestlers such as Derek Brunson so far. Gastelum may have a little success of his own due to his counters and terrific hand speed. I don’t think it’ll be enough due to how talented Adesanya is on his feet. I’m riding with Adesanya to win the interim title by decision.
Prop: Israel Adesanya wins by decision (+185)
Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier
Originally, I wasn’t going to have a play for this fight, but I felt the odds on this prop was where I liked it. This is such a great rematch between two outstanding fighters who we have watched grow and mature before our eyes for many years now. We’ve watched them both put together incredible win streaks and similar paths as well. Holloway finally secured the gold just two years ago with a TKO finish over Jose Aldo. Poirier has had to wait longer for his moment but finally this Saturday he’ll get his opportunity to claim gold. It’s been over seven long years since the first matchup which saw Poirier handle a very young and green Max Holloway en route to a submission finish in the first round. Both have really improved their skillset since then, especially Holloway – who has the tools to put up such a furious pace in breaking his opponents’ wills. The first few rounds might be a bit of a slow start for both perhaps until one of them gets their timing and rhythm down. I suspect Holloway will be the one to take charge and really put the pressure and combinations on Poirier. It’ll lead to a TKO finish in my opinion as Holloway will be even stronger, bigger, and fresher without the extra ten pounds to cut.
Prop: Max Holloway wins by TKO (+158)