Just two years ago, Chris Weidman was the unbeaten three-time defending UFC middleweight champion and on top of the world.
But this Saturday in his own backyard, Weidman will be looking to avoid a fourth consecutive loss at UFC on FOX 25 as an underdog against Kelvin Gastelum at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.
Weidman (13-3) is a New York native and will get the opportunity to fight Gastelum (13-2, 1 no-contest) at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale. However, Weidman’s previous two bouts have also taken place in his home state, and both ended with knockout losses just like the one that saw him lose his title belt against Luke Rockhold at UFC 194 on December 12, 2015.
He is a +150 underdog (wager $100 to win $150) this time around on the UFC betting lines, with former TUF 17 winner Gastelum the -185 favorite (wager $185 to win $100) in his fifth UFC middleweight bout.
Gastelum is coming off a no-contest vs. Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 106 on March 11 after he tested positive for marijuana. He originally scored a first-round TKO of Belfort before the win was overturned.
The 25-year-old from Yuma has battled weight-cutting issues throughout his MMA career, bouncing between welterweight and middleweight on multiple occasions before eventually finding his current home at 185 pounds.
The four-bout main card also features three other local fighters, including Dennis Bermudez (Long Island), Gian Villante (Bellmore) and Jimmie Rivera (Manhattan). Unlike Weidman, though, Bermudez, Villante and Rivera are all listed as chalk on the board at sports betting sites.
Bermudez (16-6) will take on Darren Elkins (22-5) in the featherweight co-main event after Villante (15-8) faces Patrick Cummins (9-4) at light heavyweight.
Rivera (20-1) will kick off the action against Brazilian Thomas Almeida (22-1) in what could be the favorite for Fight of the Night honors. Almeida has earned a post-fight bonus in five of his six UFC bouts, while Rivera has prevailed on the judges’ scorecards in each of his last three since scoring a first-round KO of Marcus Brimage in his debut.
This is the first time Almeida has been a dog in his career, at +170 at online sports betting sites, with Rivera at -200. Rivera is ranked as the No. 5 bantamweight in the UFC, and Almeida is No. 9.