TUF Brazil 3 Finale Fight Breakdown: Stipe Miocic (-500) vs. Fabio Maldonado (+400)

Fabio-MaldonadoThe main event of the TUF Brazil 3 Finale is a five-round heavyweight bout between Stipe Miocic and Fabio “The Iron Hillbilly” Maldonado. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Miocic as a -500 favorite (bet $500 to win $100) while Maldonado is a +400 underdog (bet $100 to win $400). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Miocic at -505 and Maldonado at +335, and so far there has been very slight action on Miocic as the lines have tightened. I understand why there hasn’t been much line movement as this is a strange fight to call, but at the same time I believe Miocic deserves to be the favorite and I believe he will get his hand raised. Here’s why. Miocic (11-1) is one of the top heavyweights in the UFC. The 31-year-old American has excellent wrestling, very technical striking on the feet, and he’s proven himself to be a winner with a 5-1 record in the UFC with victories over Roy Nelson, Gabriel Gonzaga, Joey Beltran, Phil de Fries, and the late Shane del Rosario. He has one loss in the UFC, and it came to Stefan Struve via T/KO in a fight he was winning until he gassed and was knocked out. But other than that, he’s looked great in the Octagon and could be a real contender for the title. He was supposed to fight Junior dos Santos originally, but after JDS pulled out with a broken hand Miocic will now take on Maldonado in what could be a dangerous fight for him. Maldonado (21-6) is a light heavyweight who is moving up to heavyweight on short notice to help save this card. The 34-year-old Brazilian is one of the toughest customers in the UFC and is known for his epic iron chin as well as his incredible hands. He is 4-3 overall in the UFC with wins over Beltran, Gian Villante, Roger Hollett, and James McSweeney and losses to Igor Pokrajac, Kyle Kingsbury, and Glover Teixeira. However, many thought he beat Kingsbury and Pokrajac and his record could very well be 6-1 had the judges given him the nod in those bouts. He is incredibly durable and is a good fighter, but moving up a weight class and fighting one of the best heavyweights in the world, this is a tough fight for him and if he wins it will be labelled as a major upset. I believe Miocic should be able to take Maldonado down, beat him up very badly on the mat with ground and pound, and either score a decision victory after five rounds or possibly earn a stoppage via either T/KO or doctor’s stoppage. But if he gets tired, Maldonado could certainly make things interesting late. At -500 I see absolutely no value on Miocic and I definitely recommend a pass on him. I also recommend a pass on the dog Maldonado, although I would be tempted to throw a flier on him if he reached, say, +500. But overall this is just a really, really weird fight and I don’t think it’s worth putting any money on whatsoever. Just watch and enjoy, as it should be fun.

Written by Adam Martin.

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