TUF Nations Finale Play: Akira Corassani (+660) vs Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (-840)

Akira CorassaniThe Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale Date: April 16, 2014 Arena: Colisee Pepsi City: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada Featherweight bout: Akira Corassani (+660) vs Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (-840) Fight Breakdown: Getting things going for The Ultimate Fighter Nations finale on FOX Sports 1 will be a featherweight scrap between a veteran of season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter in Akira Corassani, and the highly ranked Dustin “The Diamond” Porier. Corassani is a huge underdog heading into this match-up at +660 ($100 to win $660), with Poirier being a massive favorite at -840 ($840 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Akira Corassani (12-3-1 NC MMA, 3-0 UFC) is riding a three-fight winning streak into his fourth Octagon appearance, where he will be looking to make it four in a row in an upset of the heavy favorite Dustin Poirier. The TUF 14 veteran used to have horrendous cardio, as he would already be gassed in the second round. He has made major improvements with his conditioning, and is capable of going all three rounds without fatigue setting in. The native of Sweden is skilled all-around, but as the saying goes, he isn’t exactly excellent in any area of mixed martial arts. His striking and ground game both are decent and constantly improving, even at 31 years of age. He has really been improving his game since making the move to New Jersey to train under the tutelage of boxing coach Mark Henry and with training partners like former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, Edson Barboza, and current WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes. Corassani is a tough fighter with a ton of heart who doesn’t wilt under pressure. He has good takedown defense, but he may not have to worry about being taken down by Poirier, who has made it no secret that he wants to finish Corassani with his fists. That is music to the Swede’s ears, as a stand up battle is just what he wants. Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (15-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) is set to make his 10th appearance inside the Octagon, coming off a first round knockout of Diego Brandao, which also happened to be the first T/KO win of his UFC career. Poirier’s striking is average at best, but he has been showing constant improvement in the department. He is a southpaw who has a nice straight left, and likes to look for his power punch, the over-hand left. The holes in his striking were exposed in previous match-ups that he won anyways. Max Halloway and Jonathan Brookins were both getting the better of Poirier on the feet, until he used his superior jiu-jitsu to submit them. Brandao was also getting the better of him, until he gassed out and stuck his back to the cage, allowing Poirier to tee off on him. “The Diamond” is a talented grappler who owns a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is a fighter who competes with a ton of heart, and always looks for the finish. His resume certainly reflects that sentiment, as 12 of his 15 professional mixed martial arts career victories have come inside the distance; an even six by submission and six by T/KO. Training out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, the 25-year old is very durable fighter with a solid chin and great conditioning. I don’t expect him to have trouble going hard for 15 minutes against Corassani, should the fight go the distance. Gabe’s Prediction: At first glance, I thought Poirier was the obvious and easiest play to make on this entire card. I was so sure he was going to be a key piece in a parlay. But then, I began doing my homework on the fight. I am a Poirier fan, and don’t care much for Corassani, but I think Corassani has a real shot at outstriking Poirier for the better of three rounds to pick up a decision victory. I think the guy has a legitimate shot at getting his hand raised, so at these ridiculous odds, I have to make a move. Gabe’s Call: Corassani by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27) for the biggest upset of the night Gabe’s Recommended Play: Akira Corassani (+660) 3.05u to win 20.1u

Written by Gabe Killian

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