TUF 24 Finale Play: Jake Ellenberger (+205) vs Jorge Masvidal (-225)

jake-ellenbergerTUF 24 Finale Date: December 3, 2016 Arena: The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort City: Las Vegas, NV Welterweight bout: Jake Ellenberger (+205) vs Jorge Masvidal (-225) Fight Breakdown: The main card for the TUF Finale will feature a welterweight contest between Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger and Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal, with Ellenberger being a +205 ($100 to win $205) betting underdog and Masvidal being a -225 ($225 to win $100) favorite to win at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger (31-11 MMA, 10-7 UFC) last saw action at UFC 201 just over four months ago, where he scored a first round TKO of Matt Brown, becoming the first person to stop “The Immortal” via T/KO. He snapped a two-fight and 1-5 skid with the impressive victory and saved his spot on the UFC’s 170-pound roster. Heading into the Octagon in Las Vegas this evening, the former US Marine will aim to make it two straight by taking out Masvidal. “The Juggernaut” is a talented wrestler who was the assistant wrestling coach for the University of Nebraska. He works great takedowns and employs a heavy top game on the mat with effective ground and pound. His submission game is on point, too, as he owns a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The 31-year-old’s conditioning has been an issue with him, but I think that is now a thing of the past, as I believe he has made improvements in his cardio since moving to Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, CA. I feel confident that Ellenberger will have enough gas in the tank for a full three hard rounds of action against Masvidal, should this fight hit the judges’ scorecards for a decision. Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal (30-11 MMA, 7-4 UFC) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Ross Pearson at the aforementioned UFC 201 card just over four months ago, and he hopes to make it two in a row for himself inside the Octagon by getting past veteran welterweight Ellenberger. Masvidal has great Muay Thai and is an excellent technical striker. He works solid kicks and puts some fantastic combinations together on the feet. His strikes can be both crisp and smothering. The Cuban has a nice jab and is generally effective with all of his punches, both in technique and power. He has the ability to outpoint opponents on the feet for three rounds of action, as well as the ability to put the pressure on and find the T/KO finish, all the while remaining accurate with his strikes. “Gamebred” developed his wrestling game late, but you couldn’t tell, as he is very skilled in both offensive and defensive wrestling. He has great takedown defense, solid submission defense, and he has a nice submission game of his own. The Strikeforce and Bellator veteran has a good chin and great recovery. Training out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL, Masvidal is a well-conditioned fighter who will be ready for a full 15-minutes of action against Ellenberger, if necessary. Gabe’s Thoughts: Contrary to popular opinion, I think Ellenberger should be a -280 betting favorite in this welterweight match-up, so I love him for a big value play at his current offering underdog price of +205. I think he stands a good chance of putting Masvidal away, but should he fail to secure the finish, I think he will secure a convincing decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. Again, contrary to popular opinion, I believe this is Ellenberger’s fight to lose and I see him getting the job done against Masvidal this evening. Gabe’s Call: Ellenberger by T/KO (strikes, 0:27 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Ellenberger (+205) 5u to win 10.25u

Written by Gabe Killian

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