TUF 19 Finale Fight Breakdown: Frankie Edgar (-525) vs. BJ Penn (+415)

ufc-on-fox-5 The main event of the TUF 19 Finale is a five-round featherweight bout between TUF 19 coaches Frankie “The Answer” Edgar and BJ “The Prodigy” Penn. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Edgar as a -525 favorite (bet $525 to win $100) while Penn is a +415 underdog (bet $100 to win $415). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Edgar at -350 and Penn at +250, and so far all the action has come in on Edgar. I agree with the action on Edgar as I’m picking him to win this fight. Edgar (16-4-1) is the former UFC lightweight champion. The 32 year old is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world but hasn’t fought in a year after coaching TUF 19. In his career he has victories over Gray Maynard, Charles Oliveira, Jim Miller, Sean Sherk, Mark Bocek, Tyson Griffin, and of course he has two wins over Penn. With his mix of precision boxing and high-level wrestling, Edgar is one of the toughest matchups for anyone at 145lbs or 155lbs. As well, Edgar is one of the best-conditioned athletes in the UFC and routinely goes the full five rounds no problem. He has an endless gastank and because of his cardio edge he almost always takes the later rounds in his fights, leading to very close (and often controversial) decisions on the judges’ scorecards. He is a very special talent, and had it not been for a few close decision losses he would arguably hold the belts at both lightweight and featherweight right now. While he does get hit a lot in his fights and while his chin could finally be cracked one of these days, until that happens Edgar has to be considered one of the toughest fighters in the business and it’s hard to imagine him getting knocked out. Going up against Penn for a third time, expect Edgar to use a similar gameplan like he did in his first two matches with the former champ, and according to the odds he will be successful as he enters this fight as a big favorite. Penn (16-9-2) is the former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion. He is a legend of the sport and is considered one of the best fighters of all time but hasn’t fought in a year and a half due to injuries and coaching TUF 19. In his career he holds notable victories over Matt Hughes (x2), Diego Sanchez, Kenny Florian, Sean Sherk, Jens Pulver, Renzo Gracie, Takanori Gomi and Matt Serra. However, he has won only one of his last six bouts and at 35 is clearly on the downside of his career. It’s interesting that he is dropping down to featherweight now because conditioning has always been his biggest problem and at 145lbs he could be a more effective fighter. With his combination of boxing and BJJ, Penn is dangerous everywhere, but due to a lax approach to training he hasn’t been as effective with his tools in the past as he really could be. Still, he’s a legend of the sport and deserves everyones’ respect, and while he does enter this bout against Edgar as a big dog, who knows, maybe the old schooler can pull off the upset. But it won’t be easy. I believe that, just like in the pair’s first two fights, Edgar will be able to keep the fight on the feet and outbox Penn en route to a decision victory. At -525 the line on Edgar may seem high but he really should win this fight and I can’t blame anyone who wants to parlay him. I also like the prop on the fight going the distance, which is at -165, as well as the prop on Edgar by decision at -133.

Written by Adam Martin.

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