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Ronaldo Souza vs. Kelvin Gastelum UFC 224 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 5/12/18

Gastelum vs. Souza

UFC: Saturday, May 12, 2018 (Jeunesse Arena)

The Line: Gastelum +105 / Souza -125 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: PPV

Ronaldo Souza and Kelvin Gastelum fight Saturday during UFC 224 at the Jeunesse Arena.

Ronaldo Souza enters this fight with a 25-5 record and has won 56 percent of his fights by submission. Souza has won 11 of his last 13 fights and is coming off a January win over Derek Brunson. Souza is averaging 2.28 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 44.1 percent. Souza is averaging 3.35 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 44 percent. Souza will fight already for the second time this year and is certainly giving the fans their money’s worth considering all of his last three victories have earned performance of the night. Souza is coming off a first round knockout in which he only needed to land nine strikes and now all of his last five victories have been finishes. Souza is one of the more accomplished wrestlers and grapplers in the sport, who has 17 submission victories and usually always gets the fight on the canvas. However, Souza has also shown recently that the power is still there at 38 years old and you must be aware of the accurate strikes and leg kicks. This will be Souza’s 11th career fight in Brazil, his birthplace. 

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Ronaldo Souza vs. Kelvin Gastelum UFC 224 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 5/12/18

USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Gastelum enters this fight with a 15-3 record and has won 47 percent of his fights by knockout. Gastelum has split his last eight fights and is coming off a November win over Michael Bisping. Gastelum is averaging 3.89 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 44.4 percent. Gastelum is averaging 0.9 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Gastelum is also coming off an exciting performance that earned performance of the night, in which he produced a first round knockout that needed just 14 strikes. Gastelum has now won four of his last five fights if you include his result against Vitor Belfort that the UFC takes away due to a positive test for marijuana. Gastelum now has four knockout victories in his last five fights and has displayed the one-punch KO power is there. Gastelum is an overall tough fighter with a background in boxing and wrestling, and he’s only been finished once in his three losses. This will be Gastelum’s second career fight in Brazil.

This should be a fun fight between two guys who are tough in the octagon, have knockout striking power and usually put on a show win or lose. There have been issues with Souza’s chin in the past, but he’s still my pick to win this fight. Souza is the more balanced fighter who can clearly hold his own in standup, but he’ll have a considerable advantage on the canvas, and Gastelum isn’t the toughest guy to takedown. Souza is also the bigger fighter, which has its advantages, and he’s 9-1 in his career when fighting in Brazil, with that one loss being his debut against Jorge Patino. Souza hasn’t lost in his home country in 15 years.

I like Souza to win this fight.

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