A pair of middleweight contenders will headline UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Gastelum on Saturday when top contender Robert Whittaker faces No. 8 Kelvin Gastelum. The main UFC fight card starts at 10 p.m. ET at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, and the winner will put himself in position for a possible match against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Whittaker and Gastelum were supposed to fight at UFC 234 in February 2019, but their middleweight title match was scratched due to Whittaker needing emergency surgery.
Whittaker is a -250 favorite (risk $250 to win $100), while Gastelum is a +210 underdog (risk $100 to win $210) in the latest Whittaker vs. Gastelum odds from William Hill Sportsbook. In the co-main event, lightweight contenders meet as Jeremy Stephens (-140) takes on Drakkar Klose (+120). Before locking in any Whittaker vs. Gastelum picks of your own, make sure you check out the MMA predictions from SportsLine analyst Kyle Marley.
Marley won the first-ever "ToutMaster" UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every professional MMA card and does extensive research before each event.
Over the past 26 months, $100 bettors who have followed Marley's picks are up more than $20,000. Plus, he has now nailed 28 of his last 43 UFC main event picks, a stretch that included a streak of five consecutive underdogs.
Last month at UFC Fight Night, Marley told SportsLine members to back Max Griffin (-190) against Kenan Song (+170) in a welterweight matchup on the main card. Griffin took control from the opening bell and landed a first-round knockout to give Marley's followers another easy winner. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.
Now, with UFC Fight Night fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every fight. Those selections are only available here.
Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum preview
Whittaker won the UFC Middleweight Championship in July 2017 off Yoel Romero, but never officially defended it because the rematch was fought at a catchweight when Romero missed weight, while his emergency surgery forced the cancellation against Whittaker. When Whittaker returned to action, he was knocked out in the second round by interim champion Israel Adesanya.
However, Whittaker has responded with wins over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier to improve his record to 22-5. He's now the No. 1 contender in the division and poised for a rematch with Adesanya if he can get through Gastelum. He's the more prolific striker of the two, landing 4.82 significant strikers per minute in his UFC career to Gastelum's 3.64.
Meanwhile, Gastelum (16-6-1) would love to thrust his name back into the title conversation with a win after going five rounds with Adesanya and losing a decision for the interim belt at UFC 236. That bout won Fight of the Night honors, with all three judges scoring it 48-46 to Adesanya after the two fighters split the first four rounds.
After the loss, Gastelum went on to lose his next two fights to Till and Jack Hermansson, but got back into the win column in February with a decision over Ian Heinisch. Gastelum landed a career-high six takedowns in that victory. You can only see Marley's coveted Gastelum vs. Whittaker picks here.
UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Gastelum expert predictions
We'll share one of Marley's UFC Vegas 24 predictions here: He is backing Luis Pena (-145) to defeat Alex Munoz (+125) in a matchup of lightweight prospects.
Pena (8-3) will return to the Octagon for the first time since being suspended four and a half months after testing positive for marijuana. He had been slated for a February return, but his opponent, Drakkar Klose, was forced to cancel after his corner tested positive for COVID-19. Pena has lost two of his past three bouts.
Munoz (6-1) is coming off the first loss of his career, a unanimous decision to Nasrat Haqparast at UFC Fight Night in August 2020. Of his six wins, two have been by knockout.
"I think this fight mainly plays out on the feet, and Pena should be the slicker striker who lands more volume," Marley told SportsLine. You can see who else to back here.
How to make UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Gastelum picks
Marley also has strong picks for Whittaker vs. Gastelum and every other bout on the UFC Fight Night card. He's also backing a "younger, faster fighter" to pull a shocking upset. Those MMA picks are only available here.
Who wins Whittaker vs. Gastelum? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night, all from the incomparable expert who's up more than $20,000 on MMA in the past 26 months, and find out.
UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Gastelum odds, fight card
Robert Whittaker (-250) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (+210)
Jeremy Stephens (-140) vs. Drakkar Klose (+120)
Andrei Arlovski (-135) vs. Chase Sherman (+115)
Abdul Razak Alhassan (-290) vs. Jacob Malkoun (+245)
Luis Pena (-145) vs. Alex Munoz (+125)
Bill Algeo (-115) vs Ricardo Ramos (-105)
Tracy Cortez (-265) vs. Justine Kish (+215)
Alexander Romanov (-140) vs. Juan Espino (+120)
Lupita Godinez (-275) vs. Jessica Penne (+235)
Bartosz Fabinski (-130) vs Gerald Meerschaert (+110)
Josiane Nunes (-125) vs. Zarah Fairn (+105)
Tony Gravely (-320) vs. Anthony Birchak (+260)
Austin Hubbard (-175) vs. Dakota Bush (+145)