Middleweight Bout: Kelvin Gastelum (16-6) vs. Robert Whittaker (22-5)
Luke Irwin: Gastelum looked absolutely toast after his loss to Adesanya. He looked slow, stiff, not dynamic or violent at all. A decision win over Ian Heinisch isn’t inspiring, especially against a Bobby Knuckles that’s looked really good since his loss to Izzy. Gastelum is still a very tough out and has a granite chin, but this should probably be a shutout. Whittaker via UD.
Lightweight Bout: Drakkar Klose (11-2-1) vs. Jeremy Stephens (28-18)
Luke: Stephens has lost four in a row, but they were all against tip-top level performers. Klose is a chance for Stephens to redeem himself and stay in the company. He can still throw fists with the best of him, and Klose is coming off of a nasty knockout loss. I think Stephens can land enough on Klose to grind out a win. Stephens via SD.
Heavyweight Bout: Andrei Arlovski (30-20) vs. Chase Sherman (15-6)
Luke: In his prime, Arlovski would dot Sherman up like nobody’s business. But in 2021, with a slow Arlovski with a tissue-chin? Sherman is going to walk through him. Sherman via R1 TKO.
Middleweight Bout: Abdul Razak Alhassan (10-3) vs. Jacob Malkoun (4-1)
Luke: Both of these fighters tend to live by the punch and die by it, however, Malkoun getting KO’ed in his UFC debut by Phil Hawes only to line up against a crusher in Alhassan does not bode well for the Aussie. Alhassan via R1 KO.
Lightweight Bout: Alexander Munoz (6-1) vs. Luis Pena (8-3)
Luke: Both fighters are fairly evenly-matched, but I like Pena’s ground game a little more. Munoz is good enough defensively to not get caught in a submission, but I think Pena still controls the action on the ground to grind out a decision. Pena via UD.
2021 Picks Record: 41-25 (62.1%)