TUF Nations Finale Full Opening Betting Odds

TUF NationsFor the first time in the organization’s history the Octagon heads to Quebec City for the finale of ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Nations’ on Wednesday night. Team Canada has dominated the season with the Australians, as all four finalists for the two tournaments come from the host nation. Kyle Noke will have the chance to avenge his team as he takes on fellow coach Patrick Cote on the event as well. The card isn’t all about those who have competed or coached on the show however, as middleweight contenders Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy square off in the main event and look to insert themselves in the title picture. The odds for this bout have been released for the past few weeks, and they’ve hardly changed as Bisping opened a -165 favorite (bet $165 to win $100) and remains there to this day. The middleweight TUF final pits Elias Theodorou against Sheldon Westcott in one of the all-Canadian finals. Theodorou looks to extend his unbeaten record to 9-0, while Westcott hopes to extend a current nine-fight unbeaten streak. This fight could come down to the physical matchup, as Theodorou is a natural middleweight while Westcott will likely end up at 170lbs after the show is over. There will be no such discrepancy in the welterweight final between Chad Laprise and Olivier Aubin-Mercier, as both fighters are natural lightweights. This fight will turn on who can implement their gameplan, as Laprise will look to stay on the outside and strike while Aubin-Mercier tries to employ his grappling to pick up his fifth submission victory in five career bouts. Rounding out the main card is a featherweight bout between Dustin Poirer and Akira Corassani. On paper, this seems like a mismatch, as Poirier has proven himself one of the top 145ers in the world and Corassani hasn’t put himself on that level as of yet. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting odds for the three remaining main card fights as well as the entire undercard, including Sam Stout vs. KJ Noons, Sarah Kaufman vs. Leslie Smith, and six additional bouts today at Several Bookmakers. ——————– MAIN CARD (Fox Sports 1, 7pm ET) Michael Bisping -165 Tim Kennedy +125 Patrick Cote -130 Kyle Noke -110 Elias Theodorou -270 Sheldon Westcott +190 Chad Laprise -150 Olivier Aubin-Mercier +110 Dustin Poirier -505 Akira Corassani +335 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (Fox Sports 1, 5pm ET) Sam Stout -165 KJ Noons +125 Sarah Kaufman -270 Leslie Smith +190 Ryan Jimmo -385 Sean O’Connell +265 Dustin Kimura -140 George Roop +100 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (Fox Sports 1, 3:15pm ET) Mark Bocek -405 Mike de la Torre +285 Nordine Taleb -270 Vik Grujic +190 Richard Walsh -210 Chris Indich +160 Mitch Gagnon -275 Tim Gorman +195 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Eleven new lines, as the UFC returns from their recent string of smaller cards to this massive 13-fight event. For bettors, that means plenty of opportunity. Because there are so many fights, I’ll keep my thoughts brief on each bout. Elias Theodorou is better than the fighter he showed on TUF. He’s also an actual middleweight, whereas Sheldon Westcott belongs at 170. If Theodorou reverts to his more aggressive style from before the show, I think he can earn himself a stoppage, but even if he uses the conservative wrestling-heavy style he showed on the show, he should get the job done. I find the welterweight final much more interesting. Chad Laprise has shown good takedown defense throughout his career and especially during the show, but Mercier has a different grappling game than most as his base is Judo. Even if Mercier can employ his takedowns from the clinch, I think Laprise will get back to his feet and do enough standing to take a decision. I also get the impression that Olivier may go into survival mode if things aren’t going his way early on in this fight, as he didn’t exude the confidence you usually see in a high-level fighter. Kicking off the main card is what I consider a showcase fight for Dustin Poirier. While his defensive striking is always a bit worrisome, he’s durable and has superior skills in every other area. Coupled with his aggressive approach, I don’t think Akira Corassani will be able to keep up, and Poirier will likely be the most popular parlay leg on this card. As far as the undercard goes, there are some plays to look at in a bunch of the fights. In Stout/Noons I lean slightly towards the Canadian, but I’m more confident that the fight goes over 2.5 rounds and all the way to a decision. The same goes for Kaufman/Smith, it’s likely to go 15 minutes and be very competitive. Many thought Smith won their last bout, but a lot of people probably also didn’t see that bout in Invicta so this line could be inflated. The +3.5 point handicap for Smith could be worth a look here. When Ryan Jimmo lost to Jimi Manuwa last October with an apparent knee injury, it looked as if he might miss significant time. Six months later and he’s ready to step in the cage again, which means the injury couldn’t have been too serious. That bodes well for this matchup against Sean O’Connell, a fighter who has really only found his way to the UFC because they needed a short notice replacement. I keep expecting the MFC version of Jimmo to return in the UFC, and against a replacement opponent coming off an injury, this could be the perfect fight to see him re-emerge, but O’Connell has yet to make it to decision in a loss, so don’t go crazy on the decision prop. Dustin Kimura appears to be making big strides in his game, but his defensive striking remains a bit of a liability. That’s probably the one area that George Roop can take advantage of, but I’m comfortable enough with Kimura’s resilience and advantages in other areas to still pick him. Not the type of fight I’m interested in betting though. I see the four fight pass bouts either as mismatches or fights that are difficult to bet because of the unknowns that come along with fighters competing for the first time after appearing on TUF. Mark Bocek should be able to take down Mike de la Torre and control or submit him, unless Bocek is on a bigger decline than I believe. Mitch Gagnon should be able to notch another quick submission victory over Tim Gorman, but the concern with him is always the same, his cardio. The two fights I’ll be avoiding are the TUF Nations late-adds. I expected Nordine Taleb to open as the favorite, but I think Vik Grujic could outlast him here if Taleb can’t find an early finish. I’d lean towards Rich Walsh in the all-Aussie matchup, as the primary “skill” Chris Indich displayed on the show was toughness, and Walsh should put that to the test.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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