It’s time to wrap up what may have been the most lackluster season of The Ultimate Fighter to date. Thankfully, the main card is stocked with a handful of compelling match ups. Let’s break those five fights down with odds courtesy of BestFightOdds.com.
(Stephan Bonnar rides the rails on the Jon Jones Hype Express.)
Joe Silva thinks the world of Jon Jones but they are bringing him along slowly. Matt Hamill is a solid 205-er and showed flashes of a developing skillset in his KO victory over Mark Munoz but he’s not worlds better than Jake O’Brien, Stephan Bonnar, and Andre Gusmao, Jones’ first three victims in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Jones overwhelms opponents with his length, athleticism, and unpredictability and there is no reason to think that Hamill will be able to handle what “Bones” brings to the table. Look for a stoppage victory.
FIGHT! Pick: Jones.
Brendan Schaub has looked good in his TUF run but he’s still a bit raw. Athleticism counts for a lot in MMA but A) Nelson performs better than he looks and B) his skill set is more complete and more battle-tested than Schaub’s. The former NFLer has more upside in the UFC’s heavyweight division but “Big Country” is the better fighter right now.
FIGHT! Pick: Nelson.
Houston Alexander is the favorite here but I don’t buy it. He’s never showed any ability on the mat and there are at least rumblings that Kimbo has started taking ground fighting seriously. If Slice scores some takedowns he can take a decision. If Slice puts his hands on Alexander, he’ll put him down. Alexander’s only hope is to hobble Slice with leg kicks and finish him with punches, but he’s never been a combinations guy. I’m taking Slice by a slim margin.
FIGHT! Pick: Slice.
What do you get when you take an elite featherweight and have him fight at 155? Frankie Edgar. His skills and athleticism carry him against all but the biggest and best 155ers, and to my knowledge, Matt Veach is not one of the best. Big, yes, but so was Sean Sherk. Until Edgar runs into another top lightweight who has more size and more skills, I’m taking him.
FIGHT! Pick: Edgar.
Everyone is in love with Marcus Jones’ size and jiu jitsu and those attributes would serve him really well at NAGA or Grappler’s Quest. But “Big Baby” himself said on the show that the idea of throwing punches is foreign to him and that he doesn’t like getting hit. That is a really dangerous combination for mixed martial arts, especially when he finds himself standing across from Matt Mitrione, also a very large, athletic heavyweight, albeit one who is perfectly comfortable throwing hands. I expect Mitrione to win by knockout.
FIGHT! Picks: Mitrione.
FIGHT! Pick: Jones Resulting Outcome: INCORRECT
Brendan Schaub (+212) vs. Roy Nelson (-262)
FIGHT! Pick: Nelson Resulting Outcome: CORRECT
Kimbo Slice (+133) vs. Houston Alexander (-163)
FIGHT! Pick: Slice Resulting Outcome: CORRECT
Frankie Edgar (-465) vs. Matt Veach (+385)
FIGHT! Pick: Edgar Resulting Outcome: CORRECT
Matt Mitrione (+225) vs. Marcus Jones (-285)
FIGHT! Pick: Mitrione Resulting Outcome: CORRECT