Jack Hermansson vs. Kelvin Gastelum Odds, Pick & Prediction: The Bet to Make For the Co-Main Event of UFC Fight Island 2
Hu Chengwei/Getty Images. Pictured: UFC fighter Kelvin Gastelum.
- The updated betting lines for tonight's UFC co-main event list both Jack Hermansson and Kelvin Gastelum at -112 odds and the over/under at 2.5 rounds.
- Gastelum and Hermansson are each looking to bounce back from losses in their most recent fights.
- Dann Stupp analyzes tonight's matchup along with his betting pick to win below.
Jack Hermansson vs. Kelvin Gastelum Odds
|Hermansson odds||-112 [BET NOW]|
|Gastelum odds||-112 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-177/+130) [BET NOW]|
|Venue||Yas Island, Abu Dhabi|
|Time||Saturday at 10 p.m. ET|
The conditions are ripe for Kelvin Gastelum to end his skid and re-establish himself as a top dog in the UFC’s stacked middleweight division.
Gastelum (16-5), who followed up an interim title loss to Israel Adesanya with a split-decision defeat to Darren Till in 2019, looks for a fresh start in 2020 when he takes on crafty Swedish fighter Jack Hermansson (20-5).
The line, which opened -150 in favor of Gastelum, was immediately bet to the point of a near-pick’em state, drifted back to the -140 range, but has since returned to tantalizing even-money +100 odds for Gastelum.
Tale of the Tape
|Record||20-5||16-5 (1 NC)|
|Avg. Fight Time||8:05||12:49|
|Weight (pounds)||185 lbs.||185 lbs.|
|Date of birth||6/10/88||10/24/91|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||5.13||3.75|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.56||3.01|
|Take Down Avg||2.23||0.80|
Here’s an in-depth preview of that matchup below, including where I see some potential betting value. You can also check out Sean Zerillo’s analysis of all 12 bouts here.
Jack Hermansson vs. Kelvin Gastelum Pick
Sure, Gastelum, a former top welterweight, is going to give up some noticeable size to Hermansson, a 32-year-old vet whose recent four-fight winning streak came to a halt this past September with a TKO loss to Jared Cannonier. That size disparity, which has been a constant focus of conversation since Gastelum’s move up to the 185-pound division in late 2016, was evident at Friday’s official weigh-ins.
Tonight, Gastelum will deal with a 4-inch height disadvantage, and he’s also giving up six inches of reach. However, all six opponents he’s fought since his move up to middleweight have been at least 6-feet tall, so 6-foot-1 Hermansson is nothing new for 5-foot-9 spark plug Gastelum.
To help overcome his size disadvantage, Gastelum adeptly uses the speed and power that served his so well at 170 pounds. And against bigger foes such as Hermansson, who is likely to pressure his opponent quickly and often while trying to get the fight to the mat, southpaw Gastelum is also going to have ample opportunity to unload counter left hooks. They could be his most effective and dangerous weapon in this fight, as they were in a pivotal 2017 win over ex-champ Michael Bisping.
But against Hermansson, a longtime wrestler with a productive submission game, Gastelum is going to need to rely on his other traits – namely his proven scrambling and escape ability – to avoid trouble. Gastelum, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, proved that ability against dangerous submission ace Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza two years ago en route to a split-decision victory.
But look, Hermansson is no pushover. With his size and a very well-rounded game, the former Cage Warriors champ has tallied 16 stoppages (11 knockouts and five submissions) in 20 career victories. And though he doesn’t pack quite the punch that Gastelum does, Hermansson lands more significant strikes per minute (5.1 to 3.8), he lands them more accurately (48% to 43%), and he absorbs fewer strikes per minute (2.6 to 3.0).
Additionally, once on the canvas, Hermansson can be relentless with submission attempts and force an opponent to carry his weight during the process, as David Branch learned in 2019.
However, like his own 2019 triumph over “Souza,” most of Hermansson’s signature career wins have come against fighters who were either on the tail end of their careers, or they were competitors who never quite reached A-level status in the division.
Additionally, despite more than a decade of experience on some of MMA’s biggest stages, Hermansson is still not entirely comfortable when facing a good striker, and southpaw Gastelum is undoubtedly just such a challenge. Throw in Gastelum’s power – the kind that can halt or significantly alter the trajectory of a fight in a split second – and I think he can overcome Hermansson’s on-paper striking edge.
It’s logical to expect that Hermansson will eventually drag this fight to the mat, and it’s perfectly reasonable to expect him to do some damage with some ground and point one there.
But Gastelum is hard to put away (he’s been stopped just once in 21 career fights), and with his speed, power and scrambling ability, he’s got enough advantages to make up for the few disadvantages in this matchup.