After a week off, the UFC returned to the APEX for UFC Vegas 34: Cannonier vs. Gastelum. The stakes were high for both men as they looked to set themselves far apart from any contender in the middleweight division, hoping to claim the next shot at current middleweight champ, Israel Adesanya.
After the setback of a broken arm that he sustained during his unanimous decision loss to Robert Whittaker, Jared Cannonier was hungry, looking to get back to his winning ways. Out of the three divisions he has competed in (heavyweight, light heavyweight and middleweight), middleweight is where he has come the closest to hoisting UFC gold. With a win over a former title challenger like Gastelum, Cannonier (the number three ranked fight in the division) would make it hard to deny a shot at a championship sometime in the near future.
Kelvin Gastelum may have slipped down the rankings landing in the ninth spot in the middleweight division, but getting the win Saturday could potentially place him in contention for a shot at Israel Adesanya. Where he could perhaps redeem the loss he took against the current middleweight king at UFC 236.
There was no room for error in the UFC Vegas 34 main event between Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum. The fight went the all five rounds in a back-and-forth affair, and ultimately the judges had a tough decision in determining the victor. In the end, Jared Cannonier was the one to capture the win in the eyes of the judges, in what was an entertaining main event.
PROS GIVE THEIR TAKE
Here is how the pros reacted to the middleweight main event between Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum.
🍿🍿🍿 FREESTYLEBENDER 📺
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) August 22, 2021
Super close fight. Gastelum pushed the action and held center of octagon but Cannonier landed the bigger shots.
— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) August 22, 2021
— Brad Tavares (@BradTavares) August 22, 2021
KG has taken the shots well from Cannonier but man, does he look sharp tonight. Great footwork, that JC hasn’t been able to really figure out. I picked JC to win but KG proving me wrong! #UFCVegas34
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) August 22, 2021
Almost forgot this is 5 rounds Lfg 🔥 #UFCVegas34
— Charles Rosa (@CharlesRosaMMA) August 22, 2021
Shows what I know. They’ve been buzzing for 25 minutes. Good fight main event #UFCVegas34 Canonnier for the decision, gotta make a bottle GN
— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) August 22, 2021
29-28 for Cannonier after 3 if you ask me.
— michael (@bisping) August 22, 2021
Gastelum giving me Nacho Libre vibes #UFCVegas34 vamos!
— Vince Morales (@vandetta135) August 22, 2021
Great main event Jared showed he can go 5 rounds and kelvin proved that he’s still a top contender in the division and can beat anyone on the right night
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) August 22, 2021