TUF China Finale Opening Odds Breakdown: Dong Hyun Kim vs. John Hathaway

John Hathaway THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER CHINA FINALE: KIM VS. HATHAWAY Date: Mar. 1, 2014 Location: CotaiArena — Cotai, China Broadcast: Fight Pass UFC Welterweight Dong Hyun Kim (-280) Profile: Dong Hyun Kim (18-2-1-1) has been knocking on the door of welterweight fame for years, but has fallen short in key battles throughout his career, most famously against Carlos Condit at UFC 132 and Demian Maia at UFC 148. While his injury in the Maia fight may have brought him down multiple steps in the rankings, Kim has worked diligently to build a new, three-fight winning streak against the likes of Paulo Thiago, Siyar Bahadurzada and most recently Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields in a Knockout of the Night performance. Kim is deadly in the clinch, boasts decent knockout power, and has a nose for grinding to a win. He’s a difficult fight for all but the best in the welterweight division, and serves as a gatekeeper to the top ten. UFC Welterweight John Hathaway (+200) Profile: England’s brightest up-and-coming star, John Hathaway (17-1), has been a force in the UFC, going 7-1 since he joined the organization in 2009. “The Hitman” has scored notable wins over Diego Sanchez, John Maguire and Rick Story. A grinding wrestler, Hathaway’s biggest strength has been a focal point of some criticism – Hathaway has only finished a single fight in the UFC (Tom Egan at UFC 93). The Brit is a fantastic grappler and is ox-strong. He has decent stand up but does his best work smothering his opponents and breaking their will. However, he has missed the last 18 months with an injury. Still, this 26-year-old has a very bright future. Opening UFC Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Kim a -280 betting favorite (bet $280 to win $100), while Hathaway opened as a +200 underdog (bet $100 to win $200) at Several Bookmakers. This should be a competitive welterweight bout between two underrated 170-pounders, but Kim has several key advantages in this fight and deserves to be a solid favorite. First of all, Kim has all the momentum in the world coming off a KOTY candidate over Erick Silva last fall at UFC Fight Night 29. Second of all, Kim has been far more active than Hathaway, who hasn’t competed since a September 2012 decision win over John Maguire. Although Hathaway is an underrated fighter, it can’t be good for him that he hasn’t been active. Lastly, Kim is a southpaw. As we know by reading Reed Kuhn’s book Fightnomics, the southpaw advantage is huge. As well, Kim has a slight reach advantage. So even though Hathaway is younger, Kim holds more of the key edges. It’s possible that Hathaway could have improved immensely during his layoff, but based on what we’ve seen, Kim is on another level right now and absolutely deserves to be favored greatly in this fight.

Written by Adam Martin.

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