If you believe that styles make fights, then you’re not going to want to miss UFC 234 from Melbourne, Australia.
UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will attempt to defend his championship belt on home soil against the dangerous Kelvin Gastelum. In addition, the rising Israel Adesanya will go to war with the legendary Anderson Silva. While you can expect big time fireworks from the main and co-main event, there are some exciting up-and-comers to keep your eye on as well.
Get ready for UFC 234 by watching the past performances of some of the cards biggest stars and top prospects. Here's the collection of fights to watch before the action starts in Melbourne: https://www.ufc.tv/category/ufc-234-fights-to-watch
After moving up from welterweight, Whittaker rattled off an impressive run of decisive victories against the likes of Brad Tavares, Uriah Hall and Derek Brunson. Earning “The Reaper” a main event showdown with the explosive Jacare Souza in Kansas City, Missouri. Whittaker would make the most of his opportunity showing the entire world that he was ready for a shot at the belt.
Gastelum was originally scheduled to face off with fellow UFC 234 middleweight Anderson Silva, but two weeks from fight night it was former champion Michael Bisping who would answer the call. Coming off a submission loss to Chris Weidman, Gastelum would deliver a signature performance against “The Count”.
Adesanya said he wanted to make a splash in 2018, but lucky for fight fans it was more of a tidal wave. “The Last Stylebender” debuted with a stunning TKO of Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221 then followed that performance by impressively defeating Marvin Vettori and Brad Tavares. But it was under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden that Adesanya would announce that the hype was real, as he delivered a stunning performance against knockout artist Derek Brunson.
“The Spider” might be the greatest fighter of all-time. And while there is plenty of evidence to support that claim, an easy way to silence doubters is to put on a Silva highlight reel. Unfortunately for The Ultimate Fighter star Stephan Bonnar, he would add to Silva’s resume when the two duked it out in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Simon came onto the UFC scene after an impressive win on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Since then, the bantamweight prospect took care of business against Merab Dvalishvili and put the division on notice when he dominated Montel Jackson at UFC 227.
Fresh-off his DWTNCS victory, Jimmy Crute made his UFC debut on the main card of UFC Adelaide. With the home crowd cheering him on Crute thrived in the moment, securing a memorable last second finish against Paul Craig.
After earning his way into the UFC on DWTNCS, Smith wanted to prove to the world that he was ready for the big stage. On the UFC’s 25th anniversary card he did just that, decimating former TUF competitor Julian Erosa in less than a minute.
If the fights on UFC 234 are anything like what the world saw when Vannata and Frevola squared off in New York last November, then we’re in for a treat. In a back and forth thrilling duel, both Vannata and Frevola fought to a draw that had fans clamoring for more “Groovy” and “Steamrolla”. If not for an absolute war between Jacare Souza and Chris Weidman, Vannata vs Frevola would have earned Fight of The Night honors.
Watch the full UFC 234 collection on UFC Fight Pass: https://www.ufc.tv/category/ufc-234-fights-to-watch
The UFC 234 exclusive Fight Pass early prelims begin at 6:30pm/3:30pm ETPT, followed by the UFC 234 prelims on ESPN at 8pm/5pm ETPT.
The UFC 234 main card will air live on Pay-Per-View at 10pm/7pm ETPT. Order UFC 234 here: http://ppv.ufc.tv/ppv/234/
Gavin Porter is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com, follow him on Twitter at @PorterUFCNews