TUF 17 Finale Picks: Uriah Hall (-370) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (+280)

Uriah-Hall TUF 17 Finale Mandalay Bay Events Center Saturday, April 13, 2013 Three-round Middleweight Bout: Uriah Hall (-370) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (+280) Fight Breakdown: The finals of TUF 17 take place this Saturday as Uriah Hall takes on Kelvin Gastelum. Hall, who UFC president Dana White called the “nastiest” fighter to ever compete on TUF, is currently a heavy -370 favorite (bet $370 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers, while Gastelum is a +280 underdog (bet $100 to win $280). Hall (7-2) dominated on TUF, defeating Adam Cella, Dylan Andrews and Bubba McDaniel in highlight-reel fashion. The New York-based fighter is an incredibly talented striker in the vein of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, as he’s pinpoint accurate with all of his strikes and has deadly power that can see him finish anyone in the division. However, he’s not unstoppable. Before going on TUF, Hall fought in the Ring of Combat organization and lost two fights there, to Costa Philippou (maj. decision) and Chris Weidman (TKO). There’s no doubt that Hall is an incredibly dangerous fighter, but in the Weidman fight he lost because he didn’t like when his opponent was more aggressive than him, and that’s the gameplan that Gastelum is likely to take against him. Still, Hall is way more experienced that his opponent, and this is his fight to lose. But will he live up to the hype? Gastelum (5-0) was equally as dominant on TUF, defeating Josh Samman, Collin Hart and McDaniel to make the finals. The 21-year-old was the youngest fighter on the entire TUF cast and is one of the youngest fighters in the entire UFC and he improves by a rapid amount from fight to fight. A sponge who loves to learn, Gastelum possesses wicked KO power, solid grappling, and is someone that you can never count out of a fight. Sure, he’ll be stepping into the lion’s den when he takes on Hall this weekend, but this is still a winnable fight for Gastelum if he fights smart. He has to be careful of Hall’s wicked power because even though he’s never lost, Hall can knock anyone out, but if he can avoid that, he can score the upset here. Fight Prediction: This is a fight that can play out in a lot of different ways but I think it will stay standing for at least a little while, and I think one of these men is going to get knocked out. While everyone is counting on another highlight-reel KO by Hall, I’m going to go the opposite route and say that it’s Gastelum that finds Hall’s chin, as he’ll finish the KO machine with some heavy punches and win TUF season 17. Adam’s Pick: Gastelum via TKO (click for latest MMA odds) Adam’s Recommended Play: At +280, how could I not recommend a bet on Gastelum? I think the hype train behind Hall is the reason he’s currently a -370 favorite, because just based on skills alone, this is a very close fight. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Gastelum got finished by Hall, but at the dog money, I’m going to go out on a limb and pick Gastelum to win TUF 17, becoming yet another underdog to win the reality TV show.

Written by Adam Martin.

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