TUF 19 Finale Opening Odds Breakdown: Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn

B.J. Penn TUF 19 FINALE: EDGAR VS. PENN 3 Date: July 6, 2014 Location: Las Vegas, NV Venue: Mandalay Bay Events Center Broadcast: FS1 UFC Featherweight Frankie Edgar (-350) The closest fighter the UFC has to Rocky Balboa, Frankie “The Answer” Edgar (16-4-1) has surprised everyone with his never-say-die attitude and come-from-behind guttiness that has led him to victories over B.J. Penn (twice) and his arch-nemesis Gray Maynard. Winner of seven “Fight of the Night” awards, Edgar comes out of Renzo Gracie’s East Coast fight team with a chip on his shoulder and a Jersey attitude that have turned him into one of the most impressive UFC lightweight champions in quite a while. Opponents can never count Edgar out, and the 32-year-old former lightweight champ has fought for the 155-pound strap six times and the featherweight title once. After losing three controversial decisions in a row, Edgar defeated Charles Oliveira at UFC 162 to jump back into title contention. Now, after coaching on TUF 19, he takes on arch nemesis BJ Penn in a trilogy match that headlines the TUF 19 Finale. UFC Featherweight BJ Penn (+250) B.J. “The Prodigy” Penn (16-8-2) will go down as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all-time when he finally decides to make his retirement stick. The last time MMA bettors saw Penn was when he was on the losing side of a beating by Rory MacDonald at UFC on FOX 5. At 170, Penn may have been champion at one time, but he should have been fighting at 155lbs instead and fighting bigger fighters at 170lbs likely took years off his career. After losing four of his last six fights, Penn has decided to drop to 145lbs and in his featherweight debut he will take on Frankie Edgar in a trilogy match at the TUF 19 Finale after the pair coached on TUF. It will be interesting to see how Penn looks at 145lbs, but regardless of the weight cut, Edgar has proven himself to be a bad matchup for the former champ and this is going to be a very difficult fight for him to win. Opening TUF 19 Finale Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Edgar a -350 favorite (bet $350 to win $100) while Penn opened as a +250 underdog (bet $100 to win $250) at Several Bookmakers. This is a trilogy match between two future UFC Hall of Famers and should be one of the biggest fights of the summer when it goes down in July. The first two times these two met, Edgar upset Penn by using his speed and boxing advantage to win decisions. But this time, the fight is at 145lbs and that change in weight classes makes things super interesting as we have no idea how Penn will fare at featherweight. Will he be big and strong? Or will he be slow and gassy? We have no idea yet, but the fact Penn has been training with Jose Aldo and Renan Barao makes things intriguing as well. Still, Edgar is a real stud and has proven himself twice to be a bad matchup for Penn, and that’s why he enters this bout as a big favorite despite being a dog the first two times these two fought.

Written by Adam Martin.

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