Cannonier vs. Gastelum took place Aug. 21 at UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Jared Cannonier (14-5) and Kelvin Gastelum (16-8, 1 NC) collided in the UFC Vegas 34 main event. The fight aired live on ESPN and ESPN+.
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For more on Cannonier vs. Gastelum, check out the live blog by MMA Fighting’s Steven Marrocco.
Jared Cannonier def. Kelvin Gastelum via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
Gastelum inches in and draws fast counters from Cannonier, one of which knocks him off balance. Nice right hook from Gastelum when Cannonier hesitates, but Cannonier ends his next combo with an elbow. Right hand from orthodox money for Cannonier. Gastelum connects with a one-two and then charges for a takedown. When Cannonier pops up, Gastelum takes the body lock briefly. Cannonier turns and fights the hands. Duck-under by Gastelum puts him at the back, and again Cannonier turns off. Gastelum withdraws and fires a combo that’s blocked. Two minutes to go, and Gastelum still firing that left straight fastball. The right hand from Cannonier is doing most of the scoring, however. Cannonier blocking the big shots and coming back with his right as his foe closes. One last push from Gastelum, who ducks under a counter and tries a takedown. An elbow deters him, and he goes back to setting up for another combo. He takes the body lock instead with short time, and it looks like the action will come to an end here. A final head kick and punch is blocked by Cannonier, who lands a knee up the middle in counter.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Cannonier, who takes the 49-46 win.
Gastelum still light on his feet, and Cannonier chases him backward with a flurry of punches. Gastelum ties him up and presses him to the cage, and the action stalls as Cannonier tries to escape. Finally, he turns off, and Gastelum tags the body with a punch. Cannonier working his right hand in close. Gastelum’s volume and movement a little bit higher, but he hasn’t landed clean yet. Cannonier tags him with a right, then follows up with another two-piece. Cannonier uses his jab to keep Gastelum at bay. He’s patiently waiting for the counter, but Gastelum moves well out of the way, so he goes on the offensive, punching the body. An uppercut from Cannonier tags Gastelum, who again hits the canvas and pops up. Cannonier’s punches are getting closer to the big one, but Gastelum is still moving well, staying away from the worst. Another uppercut in close lands for Cannonier off Gastelum’s left hand. Cannonier chases down a head kick attempt and takes a calf kick at the bell.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Cannonier, who’s up 40-36.
Cannonier immediately fires back at Gaselum and moves laterally. Head kick just off for Cannonier. And out of nowhere, a right hook drops Gastelum. He pops up, and Cannonier tries to follow with a head kick. It isn’t long before Gastelum ducks under and presses to the cage. Cannonier knees the body and kicks him off. Now Gastelum is pressuring, but he backs off when Cannonier counters. Right hand comeback is fast for Cannonier. Gastelum is more defensive on the next flurry of punches, and he manages to clip Cannonier. Another takedown attempt from Gastelum, and Cannonier shrugs it off. Cannonier tries a few lead elbows, and Gastelum comes back with hooks that are just off. Gastelum fakes low and then winds up on big left hands. Cannonier moves laterally and takes a low kick that almost sweeps him. Again, he’s sitting back, and that’s giving Gastelum more time to work.
Close round, but MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Cannonier, who’s up 30-27.
Gastelum goes back to his bouncy approach, and Cannonier plants and tries to counter. This time, Gastelum mixes in a leg grab with a combo, and it gives Cannonier a new look. Gastelum whiffs on a big left hook, but he works the body well off a jab. Gastelum still bouncing, pressing in, looking to set up a big hook, finishing with leg kicks. Cannonier throwing everything into his counters, and he’s a bit short this round. Gastelum ties up as they collide in close, then lands a right and nearly has a takedown. Another big left hand for Gastelum, and Cannonier comes back with his own. Low kicks from Cannonier checked. Much better frame so far from Gastelum, who’s dictating the pace and range of the action. Cannonier’s output has also dropped slightly, and he’s a more stationary target. He leaps with a switch roundhouse, but it’s the straight left of Gastelum that’s on point. Another combo for Gastelum closes the round.
MMA Fighting scores the frame 10-9 for Cannonier, and it’s 19-19.
Gastelum quick to work on his jab, and Cannonier fires back with a kick. Cannonier bites on the first chance to fire back, and Gastelum pushes him back with another flurry of punches. Right hook from Cannonier catches Gastelum. He moves forward and again counters accurately. Gastelum sets up a one-two with a low kick. Cannonier working that left hand over and over, and he follows up with some nice low kicks. Gastelum struggling to contain Cannonier as he closes distance, Cannonier moving and sniping before circling off. Left straight catches Gastelum in transition. Cannonier using his front kick to set up his right hand. Gastelum tries to chase back and can’t get revenge. Gastelum takes a page from Cannonier and sets up his punches with a front kick. Cannonier just off on a big right hand as Gastelum closes in. In the final seconds, Gastelum grabs a leg for a takedown, but he runs out of time.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Cannonier.