Israel Adesanya opens as betting favorite over Kelvin Gastelum

Israel Adesanya
Image: @UFC on Instagram

Israel Adesanya has opened as a slight betting favorite against Kelvin Gastelum for their interim middleweight title fight at UFC 236.

Oddsmaker Nick Kalikas of BetDSI opened “Stylebender” as a -185 favorite (bet $185 to win $100) against Gastelum +155 (bet $100 to win $155) ahead of their clash on Apr. 13.

Kalikas explained his decision on the odds on MMAOddsBreaker.

“Stylistically, if Adesanya can keep this fight standing, he clearly has an advantage with his elite kickboxing background and striking skill-set. Gastelum has power on the feet and presents issues as a southpaw, but he’s almost certainly needs to take this fight to the floor to win it. It’s easy to assume that this is a great stylistic matchup for Adesanya, but perhaps we are underestimating Gastelum here. Gastelum has faced some of the best fighters in the world at middleweight as an undersized 185-pounder and has performed well. That being said, Adesanya is on a crazy rise right now has a tremendous amount of support from the betting public so I’m going to open him as a -185 betting favorite with the comeback on Gastelum being +155.”

Israel Adesanya (16-0) is coming off a unanimous decision win over former middleweight champion at UFC 234, which pushed his UFC record to 5-0. The 29-year-old made his UFC debut in Feb. 2018 and has since defeated Rob Wilkinson, Marvin Vettori, Brad Tavares, Derek Brunson and Silva. Adesanya has opened as a betting favorite in all of his UFC fights, but the matchup against Silva was the largest by a margin as he opened at -400 when that matchup was announced.

Kelvin Gastelum (15-3, 1 NC) was slated to face middleweight champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 234 before a last minute hernia injury forced the Aussie off the card. Prior to that, Gastelum earned a split decision over Ronaldo Jacare Souza at UFC 224 and knocked out former champion Michael Bisping at  UFC Fight Night 122.

UFC 236 takes place Apr. 13 on pay-per-view and a location has yet to be determined.

What do you think off the odds for this Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum fight?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/21/2019.