The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale takes place Friday, July 6 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the odds for the card, and here they are:
The Ultimate Fighter 27 Opening Odds
Israel Adesanya -120
Brad Tavares -120
Barb Honchak -170
Roxanne Modafferi +130
Julian Marquez -210
Alessio di Chirico +160
Montana De La Rosa -120
Rachel Ostovich -120
Matt Bessette -180
Steven Peterson +140
Alex Caceres -135
Martin Bravo -105
Luis Pena -290
Richie Smullen +210
Oskar Piechota -215
Gerald Meerschaert +165
Here are my initial thoughts on the TUF 27 opening odds:
– I love this main event fight between Israel Adesanya and Brad Tavares. Adesanya (13-0) is 2-0 so far in the UFC and is still undefeated as a mixed martial artist. The 28-year-old Nigeria native has some of the most technical striking at 185lbs and is a joy to watch go to work. His fight with Marvin Vettori was probably the hardest he’s had to work in his MMA career so far but he still got the job done. The UFC sees star potential in him and matching up against Tavares will tell us where Adesanya is at right now. Tavares (17-4) is a long-time vet of the Octagon and has racked up a solid 12-4 record in the Octagon since 2010. Tavares has won four-straight fights and his only loss since 2014 came against Robert Whittaker. He has a grinding style that is hard to beat and his striking has improved. That being said, I just don’t trust Tavares’ chin against a guy like Adesanya, and I was surprised to see the line open as a Pick ’em considering the hype behind him. He’s been steamed up since which has taken some of the potential value away, but I think Adesanya wins.
– I really like the fight between Julian Marquez and Alessio di Chirico. Marquez (7-1) has won five-straight fights and has been ultra-impessive so far in his career as he’s finished all of his fights including in his UFC debut. Di Chirico (11-2) is 2-2 in the UFC so far and while he has impressed at times he’s also been inconsistent. I feel like Marquez is more well-rounded and more durable and I think he has a good chance to finish this fight. At the opener, Marquez looks like a potential parlay piece for this card.
– A fighter I am looking to fade is Alex Caceres, who takes on Martin Bravo on the undercard. Caceres (13-11, 1 NC) is just so inconsistent and hard to trust that I think you have to fade him at this point. He’s lost three of his last four fights and his overall record in the UFC is 8-9, 1 NC, so he loses more fights than he wins. Bravo (11-1) won TUF Latin America 2 win a submission win over Claudio Puelles but he was shockingly knocked out by Humberto Bandenay in his UFC debut. Obviously that loss doesn’t look good, but I think it’s just a situation where he got caught. I think Bravo wins this fight and I like him at this Pick ’em type of price.
– For a dog, I’d take a long, hard look at Gerald Meerschaert to defeat Oskar Piechota. Meerschaert (27-9) is 3-1 so far in the UFC and is coming off of a brutal liver kick KO over Eric Spicely. He has 25 career wins by stoppage and is a dangerous fighter, although his seven submission losses are obviously a huge concern. Piechota (11-0-1) is 2-0 so far in the UFC and has looked pretty good but I feel like he’s being overvalued here. Meerschaert has way more experience and is a very crafty fighter. I’m not super confident in him or anything, but based on these opening odds I think you have to give Meerschaert a look as the underdog.
– This is the TUF Finale and I haven’t even mentioned the actual TUF fights yet, but that’s because the odds aren’t out for them yet. Look for those odds to drop in the next week or so, and of course MMAOB readers will hear my thoughts when the lines are released. There could potentially be some good value picks there. Overall, this looks like a very solid card and it should be the perfect appetizer to get MMA fans ready for the UFC 226 mega-card that takes place the next fight.