On November 15, the UFC heads to Mexico’s Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City for UFC 180: Wedum vs. Hunt.

Even though this card has gone through some changes due to injuries, it’s still loaded with great matchups; one of the best being the co-main event between welterweights Jake Ellenberger and Kelvin Gastelum.

Gastelum is one of the brightest prospects in the UFC today. At just 23 years young, Gatelum is the TUF 17 middleweight tournament winner and he is undefeated in his young career with wins over Nico Musoke and Rick Story. This is a major step up in competition for Gastelum as Ellenberger has faced some of the best competition in the world and has had great success.

While Gastelum is a rising star in the sport, Ellenberger is an established contender looking to get back into the title mix after suffering back-to-back losses to Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald. At 29, Ellenberger is in the prime of his career and if he is going to make a title run, he is going to need to get back into the win column.

Stand Up

On the feet, Ellenberger should have a decided advantage; his power is tremendous and his fundamentals are much better. Gastelum is still a young fighter who is learning the finer points of the striking game. He does have good technique and solid power, but Ellenberger is just more advanced.

Wrestling

Both Ellenberger and Gastelum come from strong amateur wrestling backgrounds, but Ellenberger’s pedigree is just a little bit better. Add to that the fact that Ellenberger trains at Reign Training Center in CA with Mark Munoz and from a purely wrestling standpoint, Ellenberger should be the better of the two.

Grappling

This is where the pendulum swings a bit as Gastelum is the better grappler from a submission standpoint. Training under the great Eddie Bravo, Gastelum’s ground game is becoming more dangerous with every outing. His grappling combined with his strong wrestling background make Gastelum a very dangerous competitor on the ground.

X-Factors

For Gastelum, youth has to be his biggest X-factor. His youthful exuberance combined with his confidence and an undefeated fighter can be a dangerous combination. For Ellenberger, his experience could prove to be the deciding factor in this fight. Ellenberger has faced and defeated some of the sport’s best welterweights and he has been in just about every situation imaginable over the course of his career.

Prediction

There is a lot to like about Gastelum and his future in the UFC is very bright, but he isn’t ready for Ellenberger. Ellenberger will be able to keep the fight standing and from there his striking will lead him to victory.

 

Stay tuned for the latest updates and results revolving around UFC 180.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.