The opening main card bout for the TUF Nations Finale is a three-round featherweight contest between Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier and Akira Corassani. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Poirier as a -675 favorite (bet $675 to win $100) while Corassani is a +450 underdog (bet $100 to win $450). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Poirier at -505 and Corassani at +335, and so far there has been quite a bit of action on the favorite, Poirier. I agree with the action on Poirier as I am picking him to win this fight. Here’s why. Poirier (15-3) is one of the top featherweight fighters in the world. The 25-year-old has a 7-2 record inside the UFC, including wins over Diego Brandao, Erik Koch, Jonathan Brookins, Max Holloway, Pablo Garza, Josh Grispi and Jason Young. He has improved rapidly since coming over from the WEC, and since moving to American Top Team after his loss to Chan Sung Jung, he’s been nearly unstoppable. Noted for his strong submission game and his ability to land the D’arce choke, Poirier has shown incredible striking in his last two fights, twice knocking down Koch in their match and knocking out Brandao in their fight, and he looks like he could be a legitimate title challenger. Most figured he would get a top-10 opponent after the win over Brandao, but the UFC instead booked him against Corassani in what is essentially a showcase bout for Poirier to shine once again. Corassani (12-3, 1 NC) is so far a surprising 3-0 in the UFC with wins over Maximo Blanco, Robert Peralta, and Andy Ogle. However, the win over Blanco came as a result of a disqualification and most observers believed he should have lost the Ogle fight, so that record has a small asterisk beside it. However, he has gotten the job done and at the end of the day, this sport is all about getting your hand raised in any method possible, so credit to him for that. Still, the 31-year-old is a surprising 3-0 for a reason and that’s because he is limited as a fighter as his skillset is only average and not elite, and also because he has a tendency to get finished. For whatever reason the UFC decided to give Corassani a huge step up in competition and he’ll take on Poirier in what is by far the biggest test of his career to date, and it’s one the TUF 14 veteran isn’t likely to pass. Although Corassani is a better fighter than most people give him credit for, Poirier is an elite featherweight and this fight has all the makings of a mismatch. Look for Poirier to stop Corassani in the first or second round with either a highlight-reel submission or knockout to extend his win streak and keep marching along towards a title shot in the UFC featherweight division. Poirier is the clear favorite in this fight and I certainly understand why the line is so far in his favor, but at this point I don’t see much value in the moneyline at -675. However, I do see value in the total, which has been set at 2.5 rounds. I definitely see a stoppage coming in this fight and at only -180 I think there’s good value in that total. As well, there could be value on the props for Poirier getting a stoppage when the line opens. In a mismatch like this with an inflated line, the props are often the way to go so that’s what I would target in this particular matchup.