UFC 234 has a great fight card in store for us all. The Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia will be sure to fill up to support the fighting champion of New Zealand, Robert Whittaker.
The card also features New Zealand’s “Last Style Bender,” Israel Adesanya, facing off against a walking legend in Anderson Silva. The Australian, Jim Crute, is also schedule to scrap against Sam Alvey and Nadia Kassem vs Montana De La Rosa rounds out the hometown fighters on the main card.
The early prelims will be on UFC Fight Pass and the prelims will be featured on ESPN, starting at 6pm MT. The main card will be on PPV starting at 8pm MT. Check out our staff predictions for UFC 234 below:
Jim Crute vs Sam Alvey (Light Heavyweight)
Hiram: I think experience is going to carry Alvey in this fight over the prospect Jim Crute.
Sam Alvey def. Jim Crute via TKO in round 3.
Connor: Jim Crute has done well since appearing on DWTNCS, he earned a contract, and has since won his UFC debut. He totally dominated a fight against Paul Craig, and ended up submitting him in the third round. Craig is very well know for his always dangerous ground game, however, I just think that Sam Alvey will be looking to bounce back after a loss in his last outing to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. That fight ended in a performance of the night KO. Alvey is a fight veteran and has shown he can win fights in different ways. This will be a great fight overall with both men being talented and dangerous, however, the experience of Alvey is the advantage that wins him the fight.
Sam Alvey def. Jim Crute via unanimous decision.
Montana De La Rosa (#14) vs Nadia Kassem (Flyweight)
Hiram: This is a pick-em fight for me.
Montana De La Rosa def. Nadia Kassem via unanimous decision.
Connor: Both of these fighters are fairly new to the UFC. De La Rosa enters her third fight in the UFC coming off two victories by submission, and has shown repeatedly that you do not want to grapple with her. Her most recent win came over Rachel Ostovich. Kassem is the opposite style of fighter with 4 of her 5 victories coming by way of KO. She has one win via decision in her UFC debut. If Kassem can stay on the feet, she should be able to win this fight.
Nadia Kassem def. Montana De La Rosa via TKO in round 2.
Rani Yahya (#15) vs Ricky Simon (Bantamweight)
Hiram: This is another pick-em fight for me. I have to go with Yahya.
Rani Yahya def. Ricky Simon via submission in round 2.
Connor: Ricky Simon is riding a 7-fight win streak and has won all 3 of his fights in the UFC. He has shown that he is talented, and can win in different ways. Rani Yahya has done nothing but show that he is better than you on the ground. He is relentless with his submissions, and if you are not ready… well you probably are not ready.
Rani Yahya def. Rickey Simon via submission in round 1.
Israel Adesanya (#6) vs Anderson Silva (#15) (Middleweight)
Hiram: In this huge co-main event, “The Last Stylebender” goes up against, “The Spider” in another fight where we are not too worried if it goes to the ground. I have to go with Adesanya. He is younger, more explosive, and I truly feel if he does not get shocked that he is fighting one of the greatest, he can win this fight.
Israel Adesanya def. Anderson Silva via unanimous decision.
Connor: What a fight. I feel more people want to watch this fight than the main event, not to say that the main event is not an exciting matchup, but this is the old guard vs the new wave fight that has the MMA community buzzing. Anderson Silva is a legend in the sport, and will be fighting essentially a younger version of himself in Adesanya. Silva was promised a title fight if he beats Adesanya, which I feel earns Adesanya a title fight if he is to win. Adesanya is on a 15-fight winning streak and is undefeated as a professional in MMA. There is a lot on the line here, and it should be a great fight.
Israel Adesanya def. Anderson Silva via TKO in round 2.
Robert Whittaker (C) vs Kelvin Gastelum (#4) (Middleweight)
Hiram: These are two men who like to box, stand, and bang so I’m looking forward to this main event being a slugfest. Both men are battle-tested, but I would say Whittaker is a bit more tested. With Kelvin, if things get bad in there and he has to come forward, I don’t know how he will do, although Gastelum has the ability to take anyone out at any point. I just feel the champ has been tested by bigger and stronger men, so I have to take Whittaker.
Robert Whittaker def. Kelvin Gastelum via TKO in round 4.
Connor: This has been a long-awaited matchup between TUF 28 coaches. Gastelum moved up to middleweight after having a hard time making weight at welterweight and it has worked out well for him so far as he finds himself with a shot at the belt. This is Gastelum’s second chance at a belt as he took a fight with current welterweight champ, Tyron Woodley, to a split decision that left Gastelum on a short side of. Whittaker should look to make a statement win here after two very close fights with Yoel Romero that came down to a decision. This should be a great fight between these two with much of the fight playing out on the feet.
Robert Whittaker def. Kelvin Gastelum via unanimous decision.