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UFC on ESPN 29: Kelvin Gastelum vs Jared Cannonier Picks, Odds, and Predictions

Jared Cannonier vs Kelvin Gastelum
August 21, 2021 11:45 pm EDT
The Line: Kelvin Gastelum +125 / Jared Cannonier -145
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum fight Saturday in UFC on ESPN 29 at the UFC Apex. Cannonier enters this fight with a 13-5 record and has won 69 percent of his fights by knockout. Gastelum enters this fight with a 16-7-1 record and has won 38 percent of his fights by knockout.

Cannonier has split his last eight fights and is coming off an October loss to Robert Whittaker. Cannonier is averaging 3.70 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 52 percent. Cannonier is averaging 0.16 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 33 percent. Cannonier is coming off a decision loss at UFC 254 where he landed 58 total strikes but ate 75 total strikes. The loss snapped a three-fight losing streak and he hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the second time in his career. Cannonier is an athletic pressure fighter with good work rate and cardio, and he has clear power in his hands and legs. Cannonier throws bombs standing up, but he’s also effective in the clinch and can more than hold his own on the canvas where he has good takedown ability and has three career submission victories. Cannonier is a balanced fighter who has been impressive at the middleweight division. This will be Cannonier’s fourth career fight in Nevada.

Gastelum has lost four of his last five fights and is coming off an April loss to Robert Whittaker. Gastelum is averaging 3.52 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 42 percent. Gastelum is averaging 1.16 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 37 percent. Gastelum is coming off a decision loss at UFC Vegas 24 that earned fight of the night. In the losing effort, Gastelum ate 169 total strikes and was taken down four times. Gastelum comes from a wrestling and boxing background, and he’s a black belt in 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. Gastelum has such great technique to his standup and puts together some of the cleanest combinations regardless of weight class. Gastelum also has one of the tougher chins in the sport and has yet to be knocked out despite now seven career losses. Gastelum has decent takedown defense and three of his four career submissions have come via rear-naked choke. Once Gastelum finds an opening and gets his timing down, he’s highly aggressive and is looking to put away his opponent. This will be Gastelum’s sixth career fight in Nevada.

Gastelum is still a dangerous fighter, but there is concern given he’s been on the wrong side in four of his last five fights. Gastelum was dominated his last time out. Cannonier has to like his chances wherever the fight goes, and he has a serious size advantage here that includes a six-inch reach advantage. Cannonier is the better, more accurate striker here and that size is going to give Gastelum issues.

I like Cannonier to get the job done.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Jared Cannonier -145
Free Bet Match Up To $1,001; Use code DAWGZRF

Randy Chambers

Randy has covered sports betting since 2014 and writes about everything from NFL to WNBA.

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