Jared Cannonier vs. Kelvin Gastelum

The UFC event schedule restarts from Las Vegas, and here are three reasons to tune in.

After a week-long hiatus, the UFC returns to Las Vegas with another “Fight Night” installment to top off a busy weekend in the world of MMA. The event is headlined by a five-round bout between two middleweight contenders surely looking to move one step closer to a title shot. Former TUF winner, Kelvin Gastelum, returns to the Octagon to challenge rising middleweight contender, Jared Cannonier, in the main event of UFC Vegas 34.

In addition to the high-stakes main event, the card has a few fights that are worth getting excited about. One of them is the co-main event, as long-time fan favorite Clay Guida competes against Mark O. Madsen in a crossroads fight at 155 pounds.

All in all, the event should deliver some high-paced action and give fans an excuse to stay home and watch a boatload of MMA. Here are three reasons why UFC Vegas 34 is worth checking out.

1. Kelvin Gastelum looks to bounce back from April defeat

On the doorstep of a middleweight title shot and a potential rematch with Israel Adesanya, Gastelum took on former champion and perennial No. 1 contender, Robert Whittaker, in the main event of UFC Vegas 24 in April. Unfortunately for the veteran, the fight would not go according to plan, as Gastelum would lose a unanimous decision in the process. Since May 2018, Gastelum has undergone a rough patch in what has been a stellar UFC career thus far. He has just one win in his last five outings, as the lone win came against Ian Heinsch at UFC 253 via a unanimous decision.

With his back against the wall, Gastelum will have to shine underneath the bright lights to put himself back in title contention. A victory against Cannonier might do just that.

2.  Alexandre Pantoja aims for two-straight

Alexandre Pantoja makes his return to the Octagon for the second time in 2021, as he will take on Brandon Royval in a flyweight encounter. Pantoja has been with the UFC since Jan. 2017 and has defeated some of the sport’s best, including flyweight champion, Brandon Moreno. Pantoja’s last loss came against Askar Askarov in July 2020 while on Fight Island. Since Nov. 2018, Panetoja is 4-2 in his last six fights and will look to make it two-straight with a victory against Royval Saturday night.

3. Chase Sherman looks to get on a roll in second UFC stint

Chase Sherman will make his second Octagon appearance of the year when he faces a surging prospect in Parker Porter in the third-to-last fight on the card. Sherman is looking to rebound after a loss to former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski, as he was on the wrong end of a unanimous decision in April. Sherman is 15-7 overall and was re-signed to the UFC after three straight TKO victories between Dec. 2018 and May 2019. Upon returning to the promotion, he has gone 1-1, with the lone win coming against Ike Villanueva in May 2020.

The UFC is back with weekly events starting Saturday night for the foreseeable future, as the schedule rolls on from Las Vegas and the UFC APEX.

UFC Vegas 34 takes place on Aug. 21, 2021, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.