To close out the prelim portion of this weekend's UFC 287 pay-per-view, Kelvin Gastelum and Chris Curtis meet in a pivotal Middleweight matchup.
This bout is contested at 185lb Middleweight.
Gastelum (16-8-1) is currently ranked #13, with Curtis (30-9) just behind him at #14.
Gastelum entered the UFC by winning The Ultimate Fighter Season 17, where he faced Uriah Hall and won by split decision in the finale. Gastelum's UFC career began with ups and downs as he struggled to make the 170lb Welterweight limit, but once he found his actual weight class at Middleweight, the knockouts began rolling in.
Gastelum has been going through a rough patch since he faced Israel Adesanya for the Interim Middleweight title in a Fight of the Year, going 1-5 in his last 6 fights, with his last win being Ian Heinisch in February 2021. However, Gastelum has maintained his top 15 ranking and has no plans to stop soon.
Gastelum is 11-8-1 in the UFC with 5 finishes, 4 Fight of the Night bonuses, and 3 Performance of the Night bonuses. Gastelum has big wins over Jacare Souza, Michael Bisping, Tim Kennedy, Johnny Hendricks, Nate Marquardt and Jake Ellenberger.
Chris Curtis is a veteran of MMA despite only having 5 fights in the UFC. Curtis has fought under many promotions, including PFL, Dana White's Contender Series, CES MMA, XMMA, iKon Fighting Federation, and the UFC.
Curtis made his way into the UFC by agreeing to replace Deron Winn in a fight against Phil Hawes on one day's notice in October 2021, but Hawes declined the fight, and it was rescheduled a month later. Curtis won his debut by knockout in the first round. Curtis returned with another short-notice fight, where this time he faced Brendan Allen and again won by knockout, earning a Performance of the Night bonus in the process.
Curtis' most recent win came against Joaquin Buckley, where he knocked out Buckley in the second round for his second Performance of the Night bonus.
Curtis is 5-1 in the UFC with 3 finishes and 2 Performance of the Night bonuses. Curtis has big wins over Joaquin Buckley, Rodolfo Vieira, Brendan Allen, Phil Hawes, and André Fialho.
Neither man is a stranger to scoring the knockout; however, both men have solid chins. Curtis has only lost once by KO/TKO over 39 fights, and Gastelum has never lost by KO/TKO over 25.
This fight will surely be a highly contested affair and has Fight of the Night written all over it.
Kelvin Gastelum opens as a +145 underdog but has since shifted to a -125 favorite.
Chris Curtis opens as a -170 favorite but has since shifted to a +105 underdog.
Chris Curtis ML +105
Total rounds over 2.5 -220
Fight ends in KO/TKO +180