On Saturday, January 31, 2015m The UFC heads back to Las Vegas for UFC 183. From the early prelims all the way through to the main event, fans are going to be treated with some exciting match ups. Second billed in the co-main event slot is a fight that has major implications in the ever changing welterweight division, Kelvin Gastelum vs. Tyron Woodley.

Despite having an inconsistent record in the UFC, Woodley is currently ranked at number three in the welterweight division. With a win over Gastelum he will remain in the title contention discussion, with a loss he is going to have to do some serious rebuilding.

Gastelum on the other hand is a young up and comer that has shown a lot of promise during his professional mixed martial arts career. He is undefeated in his ten fight career and since winning season 17 of the Ultimate Fighter he has gone on to beat such fighters as Rick Story and Jake Ellenberger. In total, he has five fights in the UFC, but Woodley is arguably his most difficult opponent to date. If he gets past Woodley, he can find himself in the top five of the division. Here are Kelvin Gastelum’s keys to victory.

Weather the Storm

Woodley’s positive and negative attributes are well documented. He has unbelievable knock out power which is derived from his athletic ability, but also his muscle mass. He is massive for the division, but that comes with one very big shortcoming. All that muscle demands that much more oxygen. Woodley has lost the last three fights that have gone past the second round. So, if Gastelum is able to drag him into the third round it’s very likely that he will take the decision.

Wrestling

Both men are quality wrestlers, but on paper Woodley has the edge. Statistically, Woodley averages more take downs per fight and defends almost 92% of the take downs attempted on him. Gastelum’s only edge is a slight one in the area of takedown accuracy. If he is able to threaten Woodley with take downs it will create some opens for him to either attempt a submission, or sneak in some strikes. He must be aware that Woodley will defend well and not get discouraged. If he abandons a key aspect of his game it’s not going to look good.

Agility

Woodley’s knock out power is frightening, but Gastelum is going to have to confidently move in and out of striking distance with ease. Every time he is in the distance he is going to need to pepper Woodley and circle out. Gastelum has three knockout victories and four submissions, but the best track to defeating Woodley is out pointing him and going to the score cards. Woodley has been knocked out once, but most recently Jake Shields and Rory MacDonald found their way to victory against Woodley by going the distance.

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.