UFC on ESPN 29: Cannonier vs. Gastelum Odds, Schedule, Predictions

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2021

UFC on ESPN 29: Cannonier vs. Gastelum Odds, Schedule, Predictions

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    The brute force of Jared Cannonier meets the grittiness of Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC on ESPN 29 from UFC APEX Facility in Las Vegas. 

    Since moving to middleweight Cannonier has created a reputation for being a devastating striker. He racked up three straight TKO wins in the division before Robert Whittaker handed him his first loss at that weight. 

    He'll look to get back on the right track in his main event against Gastelum. The 29-year-old has been far less successful in recent fights. He is 1-4 in his last five fights but he has fought a good collection of talent. His losses have come against the likes of Israel Adesanya, Darren Till and Whittaker. 

    The result is a middleweight tilt that should work as a title eliminator in a competitive division. here's a look at what the oddsmakers have in each matchup and a closer look at the biggest fights of the night. 

Fight Card, Schedule and Odds

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    Main Card (10 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+)

    • Jared Cannonier (-145) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (+125)
    • Clay Guida (+140) vs. Mark O. Madsen (-160)
    • Parker Porter (+170) vs. Chase Sherman (-200)
    • Trevin Jones (-145) vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov (+125)
    • Vinc Pichel (-115) vs. Austin Hubbard (-105)
    • Alexandre Pantoja (-170) vs. Brandon Royval (+150)

    Preliminary Card (7 p.m. ET on ESPN+)

    • Austin Lingo (+100) vs. Luis Saldana (-120)
    • Brian Kelleher (-170) vs. Domingo Pilarte (+150)
    • Bea Malecki (-155) vs. Josiane Nunes (+135)
    • William Knight (-165) vs. Fabio Cherant (+145)
    • Roosevelt Roberts (-145) vs. Ignacio Bahamondes (+125)
    • Sasha Palatnikov (+125) vs. Ramiz Brahimaj (-145)

Cannonier vs. Gastelum

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    Jared Cannonier was initially rumored to be fighting Paulo Costa in this spot. That would have put two of the division's most powerful strikers in the cage together and given us some Fight of the Night vibes and fireworks. 

    That fight didn't end up materializing but fans are getting a good consolations prize in this matchup. Gastelum is a good foil for what Cannonier brings to the table and he'll have an opportunity to show that he has improved from his loss to Whittaker. 

    Gastelum's biggest assets are going to be his ability to push a pace, his durability and his wrestling abilities. 

    Cannonier is a big fighter at middleweight. He holds knockout wins in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. However, he is 37 years old with little experience in five-round fights so the more Gastelum can push a pace and force Cannonier work to find him the better off he will be on the scorecards. 

    The x-factor here could be Gastelum's chin and toughness. He's never been knocked out in his career which could give him a chance against Cannonier's prodigious power. 

    Prediction: Gastelum via decision

Guida vs. Madsen

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    The co-main event features silver medalist Mark O. Madsen against veteran Clay Guida in the co-main event. 

    Guida is still kicking at 39 years old and wil be fighting for the 57th time in his professional career. This fight is more about Madsen, though. He's not young, either, but he's still a prospect who probably isn't a finished product in the Octagon quite yet. 

    Madsen will be making his 11th appearance and is putting an undefeated record on the line. 

    Madsen's Olympic level wrestling will obviously be a factor here but the real question revolves around cardio. Guida is renowned for his ability to keep fighting at a frenetic pace round after round. Madsen was struggling down the stretch of his unanimous decision win against Austin Hubbard. 

    When it comes to skills, Maden's grappling is the biggest advantage in the fight. The only question is whether Madsen has figured out how to manage his gas tank better. 

    As long he doesn't completely die out at the end he should have enough juice to win the first two rounds. 

    Prediction: Madsen via decision

Porter vs. Sherman

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    Handout/Getty Images

    This one should be fun. Neither Parker Porter or Chase Sherman are likely to fight for the heavyweight title anytime soon if ever, but they're both capable of putting on a show. 

    In 17 career fights, Porter has only ever gone to decision twice. He has both received and given out TKOs and submissions. He's a well-rounded fighter for a heavyweight as he can both get in a slugfest or work takedowns and submission attempts. 

    Sherman is a bit more striking-heavy but has also been fairly decision-averse. Four of his 22 career fights have gone to the cards. 

    That sets up a heavyweight collision where someone is likely going down. 

    Sherman is the longer of the two fighters at 6'4" with a 78" reach. He does a good job of utilizing leg kicks to take advantage of that and build a lead in the fight. That could be the difference as he can keep Porter at arm's (or leg's) length and wear him down before looking to close it out later in the fight. 

    Prediction: Sherman via third-round TKO

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