TUF China Finale Fight Breakdown: Dong Hyun Kim (-350) vs. John Hathaway (+290)

Dong Hyun Kim The main event of the TUF China Finale is a five-round welterweight bout between Dong Hyun “Stun Gun” Kim and John “The Hitman” Hathaway. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Kim as a -350 favorite (bet $350 to win $100) while Hathaway is a +290 underdog (bet $100 to win $290). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Kim at -280 at and Hathaway at +200, meaning there has been significant action on the favorite Kim. I agree with the action coming in on Kim as I am always picking him to win this fight. Here’s why. Kim (18-2-1, 1 NC) is one of the top welterweight fighters in the UFC. The 32-year-old has been competing in the Octagon since 2008 and has an overall record of 9-2 with 1 No Contest that includes victories over TJ Grant, Nate Diaz, Erick Silva, Siyar Bahadurzada, Amir Sadollah, Paulo Thiago, and Matt Brown. The only two losses came to Carlos Condit via flying knee knockout and Demian Maia via freak injury TKO. Despite those two losses, that’s still one of the most impressive resumes in the sport as far as welterweights go, and at 32 years of age, Kim seems to be in his prime. In his last three outings, Kim has looked amazing, dominating Bahadurzada and Thiago on the mat with his heavy top game and ground and pound and in his last fight showing he has KO power with a shocking stoppage over Silva. With three wins in a row, Kim is quickly climbing towards the top of the division and now he’s been tapped to face Hathaway in a showcase fight for him in the main event of the TUF China Finale. Hathaway (17-1) is one of the UK’s brightest stars. The 26-year-old has been in the UFC since 2009 and has an overall record of 7-1 in the promotion that includes wins over Diego Sanchez, Rick Story, and Pascal Krauss. The lone loss came to Mike Pyle in an upset back in 2010, but since then Hathaway has won three fights in a row and looks to be improving his overall game. However, he has missed over a year of action due to injuries and illness, and it’s a huge question mark how he will look in his return to the cage this weekend in a country so far away from England. Although Hathaway is good everywhere, he doesn’t possess finishing ability and against Kim that’s going to be a problem. Perhaps Hathaway’s best chance to win the fight is if he can take Kim deep and tire him out, but that’s easier said that done against a strong fighter like Kim, and Hathaway certainly has an uphill battle to face this weekend. I see Kim being able to control the fight with his wrestling game, putting Hathaway on his back at times and pushing him against the fence when he’s not beating him up on the mat. Although the striking will likely be pretty even, I believe Kim has a massive edge on the ground and I think he’ll shine in this showcase matchup the UFC has given him in front of the fans in China. At -350, the line on Kim is high but likely worthy of a parlay. I just can’t see how Hathaway wins this fight and even though he is a great fighter in his own right I’m not even tempted one bit by the +290. So I think despite the high juice this is a favorite or pass situation. The total rounds for this bout is set at 4.5, and the UNDER 4.5 is +150. I lean towards a finish in this five-round fight, so if you do as well there’s some good value on that total.

Written by Adam Martin.

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