UFC Fight Night 44 Fight Breakdown: Kelvin Gastelum (-380) vs. Nico Musoke (+315)

Kelvin-Gastelum The co-main event of UFC Fight Night 44 is a three-round welterweight bout between Kelvin Gastelum and Nico Musoke. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Gastelum as a -380 favorite (bet $380 to win $100) while Musoke is a +315 underdog (bet $100 to win $315). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Gastelum at -505 and Musoke at +335, meaning the betting public has been taking a shot at the underdog Musoke. I disagree with the action in Musoke’s favor as I am picking Gastelum to win this fight. Here’s why. Gastelum (8-0) won season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter after running through Josh Samman, Collin Hart, Bubba McDaniel and Kito Andrews en route to the finals, where he defeated Uriah Hall in a huge upset to win the tournament title. Just 22 years of age, Gastelum is now 3-0 officially inside the Octagon with wins over Hall, Rick Story, and Brian Melancon. An extremely well-rounded fighter, Gasteum is a jack of all trades and is well versed in all areas of MMA. He has excellent wrestling, improving striking, and he also has slick submissions to go along with a great chin and a lot of heart. At such a young age, he is still rapidly improving every fight and in a few years time he could be contending for the UFC welterweight title. After picking up the biggest win of his career in his last outing over Story, the UFC has decided to give Gastelum a co-main event slot this weekend against Musoke in a fight which Gastelum is heavily favored to win. Although his opponent is a tough guy and improving himself, Gastelum has all the tools to be a future champ in the division and if he can get by Musoke in impressive fashion there’s no doubt the UFC will have to give him a top 10 opponent in his next outing. Musoke (12-2, 1 NC) is one of the up-and-coming fighters from Sweden who trains at Allstars Training Center alongside superstar light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson. At just 28 years of age, Musoke is currently 2-0 in the UFC with wins over Alessio Sakara and Viscardi Andrade and appears to be a dark horse contender at 170lbs. In the fight against Sakara he showed he has an excellent submission game, as he was able to finish the BJJ black belt with an armbar, while in the fight against Andrade he showed he has excellent recovery once he is rocked and also great cardio. However, the fact he was dropped by Andrade and nearly finished by Sakara as well is very scary and his questionable chin is why he is such a big dog against Gastelum. While Musoke does enter this bout on an eight-fight unbeaten streak and while he does improve from fight to fight, he’s taking on one of the top prospects in the division and it’s going to be a tough test for him to pass, which is why he enters the fight as a significant underdog. I believe Gastelum is a better fighter in every area of the game and I fully expect him to use a combination of striking, wrestling, and submissions in order to get the victory. He could win this fight by decision, knockout, or submission, but either way he’s the better fighter and should be able to get the victory here, probably in highlight-reel fashion. At -380 I think there is value in putting Gastelum into a two-team parlay as I believe he should be at least a 4-to-1 favorite here and possibly even closer to the 5-to-1 opener. I do favor a finish ever so slightly, but I wouldn’t touch the props here as Musoke is a tough guy and could make it the full three rounds. Regardless of method of finish, though, I definitely like Gastelum here and think he wins this fight in impressive fashion.

Written by Adam Martin.

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