The Ultimate Fighter China Finale Opening Betting Odds

UFC Fight Night 37Although fans have been unable to watch it, and most couldn’t care less about it, the UFC travels back to Macau, China for the finale of the most maligned edition of The Ultimate Fighter in history, TUF China. Luckily, the card isn’t just a bunch of unknown Chinese fighters, as some solid UFC veterans populate the majority of the bill. The main event of the evening (or morning, if you’re watching in North America) is a welterweight scrap between Dong Hyun Kim and John Hathaway. The line has already been released for this bout, and it favors Kim pretty widely. He currently sits as a -350 favorite (bet $350 to win $100), with Hathaway a +290 underdog (bet $100 to win $290) at Several Bookmakers. The remainder of the card, which includes the TUF China welterweight final, Hatsu Hioki versus Ivan Menjivar, and a heavyweight clash between Matt Mitrione and Shawn Jordan don’t have lines set, until now. Nick Kalikas released the odds for those three bouts and the remainder of the TUF China Finale card at Several Bookmakers today. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 8am ET) Dong Hyun Kim -280 John Hathaway +200 TUF China Welterweight Final Sai Wang -230 Lipeng Zhang +170 Matt Mitrione -140 Shawn Jordan +100 Nam Phan -170 Vaughan Lee +130 Hatsu Hioki -350 Ivan Menjivar +250 ——————– PRELIMNARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15am ET) Yui Chul Nam -180 Kazuki Tokudome +140 Zak Cummings -165 Alberto Mina +125 Anying Wang -140 Albert Cheng +100 Jumabieke Tuerxun -230 Mark Eddiva +170 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: First off, if you’re looking for some insight into the TUF China fights (Sai/Zhang and Cheng/Wang), I don’t have it for you. I’ve barely seen these guys fight, so watching them will be a total learning experience for me. As far as the other fights go: I actually like Shawn Jordan a fair bit over Matt Mitrione. I can see him getting knocked out, but think it’s more like we see him taking Mitrione down and winning the fight from top position. Both Mitrione and Jordan have gotten some respect in past fights, so this line movement will probably come down to what bettors remember more, Jordan getting knocked out by Gonzaga or Mitrione being tapped by Schaub in their last bouts. Phan/Lee is a tricky fight that I’ll probably be passing as far as a bet goes. I like Lee’s overall skillset better, but I can easily see Phan’s volume striking currying favor with the judges and a decision going his way. Even the movement on this fight should be tricky to gauge, as neither has gotten a ton of respect historically. Perhaps Phan’s third round resurgence against Takeya Mizugaki will tip the scales slightly in his direction. Despite his struggles in the UFC, Hatsu Hioki is still one of the five most skilled featherweights in the world. His kryptonite in the UFC has been strategic fighting, as he’s often too content to grapple with opponents from his back. That’s not something he should have to worry much about against Menjivar who has his own issues from a gameplanning perspective. Hioki will be the better striker here, have a significant reach advantage, and can probably even get takedowns of his own where his sterling top game can shine through. I don’t imagine too much money coming in on Menjivar for this fight, so if you’re looking to bet Hioki, it’ll come at a premium. As much as I’ve been trying to avoid UFC debutantes as far as picks and bets go, I think Yui Chul Nam is set up for success here. In a broader sense, this fight could feature the worst combined striking defense in recent UFC history. The difference is that Nam has a way better chin than Tokudome, and will also be the more likely fighter to get takedowns here. It’s always interesting to see how bettors will treat a debuting fighter, so there might be a bit of value on Nam in this spot. A debuting fighter I’m a bit less high on is Alberto Mina. He’s looked impressed on the regional circuit against some questionable competition, but looks to have a solid grappling game to go along with some decent clinch striking. The problem is that he hasn’t faced anyone who can really wrestle. I see Zak Cummins being able to get takedowns and stifle Mina’s submissions en route to either a decision or perhaps a late stoppage. I expect most of the money coming in will be on Cummins’ side as well. Finally, a fighter who didn’t come through TUF China (probably because he would’ve easily won the tournament) but has made his way to the UFC anyways is Jumabieke Tuerxun. Aside from having an awesome name to pronounce, Tuerxun is as close to a legitimate fighter coming out of China as we’re going to see right now. His opponent Mark Eddiva hasn’t competed since January 2011, and in that fight he was getting destroyed on the feet until his opponent slipped to the ground and he was able to capitalize on a complete lack of grappling. I think Eddiva is on the same level as Royston Wee and Dave Galera, while Tuerxun is a bit better than that.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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