Bisping vs Gastelum Breakdown
Let's just pause for a moment to give Michael Bisping his due. The former UFC middleweight champion is saving the card and coming in on extremely short notice after having just been beaten up by Georges St-Pierre less than three weeks ago. That's heart, which is what the +200 underdog is known for but he'll need more than that against the mauler that is Kelvin Gastelum (-265).
The Mexican-American was a former welterweight but has found success moving up to middleweight with huge finishes over Tim Kennedy and Vitor Belfort. He's built like a bloated lightweight and he'll be considerably smaller than Bisping, who has fought as a light heavyweight early in his career. The short notice and wear-and-tear are Bisping's biggest hurdles here but Gastelum is far from a sure bet. Ladies and gentlemen, we are in for a war!
Upsets become rarer on Fight Pass cards nowadays but Bisping engineered one of those upsets when he defeated Anderson Silva as a +240 underdog. He became 2016's most bankable underdog and he has never lost consecutive fights in his entire career. However, at 38 with 38 pro bouts behind him, Bisping might be at the twilight of his career.
Bisping has elite toughness and endurance and puts on a tiring pace as evidenced by his 4.34 significant strikes landed per minute. He only absorbs 2.69 making him one of the UFC's best strikers. Gastelum also fights a high-pressure pace and is more accurate with his strikes at 44.32 per cent. Gastelum doesn't use his wrestling as much as he should but his back-take game is underrated and Bisping has a habit of giving up his back.
The edge goes to Gastelum. He's the fresher fighter and can go all five-rounds. If he mixes his striking and wrestling, he can open Bisping up and land more frequently. If he gets Bisping to the ground, he could take his back and lock up his nasty rear-naked choke. Gastelum wins this war.
Our Record: 1-0
Betting Stats & Tidbits:
- -15%: the line movement for Kelvin Gastelum since opening, the second-highest after Muslim Salikhov at -23%
- 70%: the expected outcome of a Kelvin Gastelum finish in this bout; Gastelum decision was second at 12% and Bisping by decision, third at 10%
- 2-1: the betting record for the over in round totals for Gastelum's last three fights
- 2-1: the betting record for the under in round totals for Bisping's last three fights
Best Bets for UFC Fight Night Shanghai
Lock it Up! The lock of the night goes to Bobby Nash (-335) and it's tough considering he's been knocked out in both of his UFC appearances but Kenan Song (+240) is a significant step down from Li Jingliang and Danny Roberts. Song is a well-rounded fighter but Nash is a better wrestler and has heavier hands. He'll put Song away within two rounds.
Our Record: 0-1
Who's A Good Dog? in a traditional striker versus grappler matchup, side with the grappler: Alex Garcia (+180) against Muslim Salikhov (-245). The "King of Kung Fu" is exciting and has explosive striking but is untested on the ground. Garcia is a powerful wrestler training with Montreal's Tri-Star gym. He has heavy hands and can grind out Salikhov if he takes him to the mat.
Our Record: 0-1
Just Say No: to Kailin Curran (+120) vs Yan Xiaonan (-150) at their current prices; if either of their prices goes higher then maybe. But Curran is unbettable with a 1-5 record and Xiaonan is a green newcomer. Pass.
Main Card (Fight Network/UFC Fight Pass, 7 AM ET)
- Middleweight (185 lbs): #2 Michael Bisping (+195) vs #9 Kelvin Gastelum (-265)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): Li Jingliang (-195) vs Zak Ottow (+155)
- Featherweight (145 lbs): Wang Guan (-135) vs Alex Caceres (+110)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): Muslim Salikhov (-245) vs Alex Garcia (+180)
Preliminary Card (Fight Network, 3:45 AM ET)
- Featherweight (145 lbs): Zabit Magomedsharipov (-560) vs Sheymon Moraes (+375)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): Kenan Song (+240) vs Bobby Nash (-335)
- Women's Strawweight (115 lbs): Kailin Curran (+120) vs Yan Xiaonan (-150)
- Featherweight (145 lbs): Yadong Song (-150) vs Bharat Khandare (+120)
- Heavyweight (265 lbs): Chase Sherman (+115) vs Shamil Abdurakhimov (-145)
- Women's Bantamweight (135 lbs): Yanan Wu (+120) vs Gina Mazany (-150)
- Featherweight (145 lbs): Wuliji Buren (+135) vs Rolando Dy (-175)
- Heavyweight (265 lbs): Cyril Asker (-265) vs Hu Yaozong (+205)
*Note: all betting odds via Sports Interaction
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