TUF China Finale Play: John Hathaway (+315) vs “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (-345)

John HathawayThe Ultimate Fighter: China Finale Date: March 1, 2014 Arena: CotaiArena City: Cotai, Macau, China Welterweight bout: John Hathaway (+315) vs “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (-345) Fight Breakdown: The TUF China finale main card on UFC Fight Pass will be headlined by a welterweight war between an Englishman and a Korean, when John Hathaway takes on “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim, in what will be the first five-round fight of both their professional fighting careers. Hathaway will be the underdog heading into this contest at +315 ($100 to win $315) and “Stun Gun” is the favorite at -345 ($345 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. JOHN HATHAWAY (17-7 MMA, 7-1 UFC) finally makes his return to the Octagon after an injury plagued 17 month layoff, and looks to shake-off the ring rust in a five round main event against the always tough Korean. It goes without saying that it is a tall order for the Brit, but I think this is a fight he could win. Hathaway is a solid grappler in his own right, and if successful in getting the fight to the mat, he will win rounds. His wrestling is solid, and while “Stun Gun” has top-notch takedown defense, I could see Hathaway getting him to the mat. The eight time Octagon veteran has developed an excellent striking game to compliment his grappling. He works solid kicks to the legs, body, and head. He is very good with the outside leg kick. Hathaway is good at closing the distance, and when doing so, he is effective with his knees inside the clinch. When on the inside, he is good at scoring takedowns, especially with the body-lock. Not only is Hathaway good at closing the distance, but he also uses his distance really well. He knows how to use his range using his jab and kicks. The 26 year old is generally a well-conditioned athlete, so even with the lengthy layoff, I expect him to have his cardio ready for a five rounder. “STUN GUN” DONG HYUN KIM (18-2-1-1 NC MMA, 9-2-1 NC UFC) is coming off a second round knockout upset of Brazilian Erick Silva in Brazil. Silva had him hurt, but he caught the Brazilian during an exchange, and put him away with a single punch. The knockout victory follows two dominant decision wins over Paulo Thiago and Siyar Bahadurzada, and the Korean now looks to make it four straight with a win over the Brit. Kim is a skilled striker with solid boxing skills but his bread and butter is his ground game, where he displays dominant top control and an effective ground and pound attack. With his judo base, he has very strong hips, thus is hard to take down and his defense is some of the best in the welterweight division. When “Stun Gun” initiates a takedown and gets the fight to the mat, he positions himself well and does not get caught in submissions or leave room for reversals. His submission defense is excellent. Training out of Korean Top Team, I expect Kim to have his cardio in check for a five round affair. Fight Prediction: I think this fight is going to be a lot closer than the odds suggest. There is absolutely no reason why Erick Silva was a near 3-to-1 favorite over “Stun Gun” and Hathaway is a 3-to-1 underdog. Hathaway is tougher than Silva and a lot more durable. He is not as explosive, but he fights smarter and is superior in certain facets of the sport. As far as the odds go, I think they are way off, and the value is with the Brit. I am counting on Hathaway to be in shape and prepared for this bout. I am hoping he is not taking this fight just to take a fight and get a paycheck. I am counting on him to be hungry as hell, and ready to make a run for the currently vacant welterweight strap. I think he is good enough to have his moments both on the feet and on the mat against Kim. I could see him getting lucky and finishing Kim, or vice-versa, but I think more often than not, this one plays out for all five rounds for a closely contested judges’ decision. Gabe’s Pick: John Hathaway by Split Decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47) Gabe’s Recommended Play: John Hathaway (+315) 1.8u to win 5.67u

Written by Gabe Killian

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