TUF 19 Finale Opening Betting Odds

TUF 19 FinaleLess than 24 hours after two UFC titles are on the line at UFC 175, the promotion will be back at it to determine two more ‘Ultimate Fighter’ winners. The event will mark the 37th and 38th winners of the show since its inception nearly a decade ago. This season of TUF hasn’t exactly captured the eyes of the general public, or even the MMA fanbase, as the show has averaged less than half a million viewers and even Dana White has said it has been the worst season of the show ever. Luckily, the UFC has put the fight between coaches Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn on the finale as well, which has helped pique interest. The other highlight of the card is the flyweight bout between highly regarded prospect Justin Scoggins, who has already gone 2-0 in the UFC, and Dustin Ortiz, who many people feel should have beaten former title challenger John Moraga in January. Jiu-jitsu champion Robert Drysdale also makes his long-awaited UFC debut as he takes on fellow undefeated newcomer Keith Berish. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for TUF 19 Finale today at Several Bookmakers. Check them out: ——————– MAIN CARD (Fox Sports 1, 9pm ET) Frankie Edgar -350 BJ Penn +250 TUF Light Heavyweight Tournament Final Corey Anderson -140 Matt Van Buren +100 TUF Middleweight Tournament Final Dhiego Lima -245 Eddie Gordon +175 Derrick Lewis -260 Guto Inocente +180 Justin Scoggins -350 Dustin Ortiz +250 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (Fox Sports 1, 7pm ET) Kevin Lee -215 Jesse Ronson +165 Jumabieke Tuerxun -130 Leandro Issa -110 Adriano Martins -400 Juan Manuel Puig +280 Dan Spohn -230 Patrick Walsh +170 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6pm ET) Alexis Dufresne -190 Sarah Moras +150 Robert Drysdale -855 Keith Berish +485 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Here is the extent of my TUF viewing this season: I watched the first episode to see who got in the house. Those fights weren’t good, and I only tuned in earlier today (however, not on UFC Fight Pass, as they charge to view per episode) to watch the finalists’ fights to this point. I favor Anderson very slightly to grind Van Buren out with his wrestling in the light heavyweight finale. At middleweight I think people are a bit too high on Dhiego Lima, but he is the more skilled fighter than Eddie Gordon. Lima should come through here, but I think it’s a dog or pass situation. In terms of the actual fights on this card, Lewis and Inocente is a strange one. We last saw Inocente in Strikeforce two years ago at light heavyweight. Now he’s moving up and facing a very big heavyweight coming back from a massive layoff. I definitely favor Lewis in this spot, as he has solid cardio for a big man and plenty of power. He should be able to wear down Inocente and get a TKO in the second or third round. The best fight outside of the coaches bout (or perhaps even including it) is Scoggins/Ortiz. The winner is undoubtedly a top 10 flyweight and likely on their way to title contention. Scoggins will have an advantage on the feet here, and we may actually see him employ his striking a bit more, as Ortiz is at his best on the mat. Scoggins may have a slight wrestling advantage however, so he could use the same gameplan as he did against Campuzano. I think grappling would be a bit riskier here, but either way Scoggins should be able to get his hand raised. Kevin Lee was pretty impressive in his UFC debut, despite losing a decision to Al Iaquinta. Technically he still needs some polishing, but he’s got good physical tools and has shown to be a pretty solid grappler at this point in his career. That’s what I think gives him the edge over Jesse Ronson, who will be better on the feet here but really hasn’t shown much ability on the mat. He is decent at scrambling back to his feet, but that’s not a skill that’s going to win him many fights at this level when he can just be taken down again. I faded Tuerxun in his UFC debut because he was the owner of possibly the most padded record in MMA history, and didn’t show many skills on tape. That turned out to be a good decision. Unfortunately that means he’s not going to close as a -440 favorite ever again, but it’s still safe to pick against him in this spot. His cardio was completely gone by about the 8-minute mark in his debut, and he’s going to be fighting a weight class lower here against a better grappler, which takes away the only route Tuerxun has to win fights. Juan Manuel Puig is one of the most one-dimensional fighters I’ve seen come into the UFC in quite some time. He rushes forward throwing sloppy punches trying to initiate grappling exchanges, and he’s been successful doing so against a lot of the poor opposition he’s faced. The problem here is that even if he does get to grapple, Adriano Martins is far superior in that realm in terms of wrestling and submissions. On the feet this isn’t close either, despite that not being Martins’ strength. Puig may make some serious improvements and surprise me, but on paper this looks like a terrible matchup for him. The biggest question about any WMMA fighter coming into the UFC is level of competiton, and Alexis Dufresne’s has been downright awful. Her opponents were a combined 6-13 at the time she faced them (two opponents were making their MMA debuts) and Kim Couture is her best win. She has shown solid wrestling and grappling ability, which means this should hit the mat, and it will be determined by who can be more effective on the ground. Moras is the better technical grappler, but Dufresne looks like she moves quicker on the ground and should get top position in this bout, so if she can avoid the sub she’ll likely take a decision here. While most WMMA fights are a lock to go over 2.5 (save for Ronda Rousey), that has more to do with the striking, female grapplers are pefectly capable of stopping fights, so I’m not as confident in that bet here either. Very limited tape out there on Keith Berish, but from what I’ve come across he’s primarily a grappler, which is horrible, horrible news for him since he’s facing one of the top submission grapplers in all of MMA, Robert Drysdale. The fact that Berish is a 185er stepping up to 205 for this fight doesn’t bode well for him either. Drysdale is simply better than Berish in the Ring of Combat champion’s best areas.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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