The fights to watch at UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia
The UFC makes its return to the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia on Saturday, February 9 for the first PPV of the year.
UFC middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, puts his title on the line against a dangerous contender in Kelvin Gastelum. Both men recently coached The Ultimate Fighter 28: Heavy Hitters and are finally scheduled to scrap for the new undisputed Legacy Belt.
In the co-main event, the up-and-coming star, Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya, takes on former UFC middleweight king and legend, Anderson “The Spider” Silva.
Here are the fights you definitely don’t want to miss at UFC 234:
The fights to watch at UFC 234
The first PPV of the year is coming out of Australia, with many big-named matchups for fight fans around the world. The main event features a middleweight championship fight and the co-main even has major title implications. The card also features Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series alums looking for their shot at the spotlight. Take a look at the fights you should keep an eye on during the UFC's return to Melbourne.
Devonte Smith vs Dong Hyun Ma
This is a huge step up in competition for Devonte Smith, who is coming off a huge win on Dana White's Contender Series. He is riding a huge wave after that fight and is coming into this scrap with a lot of confidence. Hyun Ma is here to kill the hype and set himself up for a big fight in the future. This is going to be a fun one to watch in the lightweight division, which is scheduled to set the tone for the main card.
Jimmy Crute vs Sam Alvey
Alvey saved the day, filling in for Ryann Spann at UFC 234. As for his opponent, the rising prospect and Contenders Series alum, Jim Crute, makes a quick turnaround to open the main card against Alvey in a scrap you don't want to miss. Alvey is a great competitor who looks to derail the hype train. Crute is showing that he is a top prospect and rising star in the light heavyweight division. Although both men have been goofing around on social media and during their face-offs, their fight has potential to win a bonus and the attention of fight fanatics. Keep an eye on Crute - win or lose, he's the future of the division.
Rani Yahya (#15) vs Ricky Simon
Rani Yahya is a fighter who has been making tons of noise as of late, and with the chance to be on a PPV card, this is his chance to show off and show the world what he is made of. As for Ricky Simon, the same is at stake. He has a chance to put his name on the map and a chance to get a number next to his name. This is going to be a great fight that you definitely do not want to miss on Saturday night.
Israel Adesanya (#6) vs Anderson Silva (#15)
When you're talking about striking, both of these men are the best at it. It's new school vs old school at UFC 234, although both fighters have very similar fighting styles. It's hard to not compare "The Last Stylebender" to "The Spider," especially as Adesanya has made it known he is fighting one of his inspirations in mixed martial arts. This is a huge matchup that could have title implications too. Although much is at stake for both men, this is going to be a fun scrap to watch for the fans that has potential for a Fight of the Night bonus.
Robert Whittaker (C) vs Kelvin Gastelum (#4)
This is a huge championship fight for the division. Since moving back up to middleweight, Gastelum has been on a roll with impressive wins; his last fight being against the dangerous, Jacare Souza. Whittaker is undoubtedly one of the most violent men in the division. He is coming off a five-round war with Yoel Romero in a fight where "The Reaper" showed true championship heart and grit. You don't want to miss this one!
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