With the UFC’s International Fight Week in full swing, we are approaching the apex of the festivities. Two nights, two events and a boat load of fun bets. Let’s a take a look at what I believe are the best pickings from the TUF 25 Finale and UFC 213.
We’ll kick things off with the main event for TUF 25, where UFC lightweight veteran Michael Johnson (-145) is the favourite over the undefeated Justin Gaethje (+135), who is 17-0 and making his octagon debut.
While Gaethje’s record looks impressive, it’s safe to say that ‘The Menace’ will be his toughest test to date. We’re talking about Michael Johnson here, a guy who holds wins over Dustin Poirier, Edson Barboza and Tony Ferguson. He’s also gone the distance with guys like Nate Diaz, but … does have some losses on his record that make you scratch your head.
History has shown us that if Michael is going to finish this fight, there is an 80% chance it will be with his fists (+170). But if he’s going to lose and get finished, it will be via submission. And you can Gaethje via sub at a whopping +1033.
In the co-main event, we have two previous winners of The Ultimate Fighter in Dhiego Lima (+150) vs. Jesse Taylor (-170) with the winner set to make history, as the first ever winner of two seasons of TUF.
While my heart says Lima, my head is saying ‘JT Money’, as at some point, in each round, Jesse will likely get a takedown and attempt to maul and brawl is way to unanimous judges decision. But with the right pressure, there’s a salivating prop of +1040 via T/KO on Taylor winning via referee stoppage.
There are two other bouts I am paying very close attention to on this card.
The first is with a frequent contributor to Fightful MMA, middleweight Elias Theodorou (-105) who finds himself in a pick-em situation vs. Brad Tavares (-105). While on paper this one screams “going the distance”, I’m looking for Elias to methodically try and fatigue Tavares with his pace, until he can find a way to finish him by any means possible. And there’s a prop for that: Theodorou wins inside the distance at +475.
Then there’s the James Krause (-395) vs. Tom Gallicchio (+350) bout. This one screams beatdown by what visually appears as the more technically gifted Krause. But I’m here to repeat the old MMA adage: anything can happen in a fight.
Underdogs pull off crazy victories, and while I don’t necessarily believe it will happen here, Tom has 19 wins, 13 via submission and on the show, won both his fights via sub. If you think he can do it to Krause, you can get him for +800 via submission.
Moving on to Saturday night’s UFC 213 pay per view event, where I feel as if I’m the only one scratching my head at the lines for the main event. UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes (-110) also finds herself in a pick-em situation with challenger Valentina Schevchenko (-110).
I think Nunes is simply on a different level now. And I think she pulls off a finish here. If you agree, you can get ‘The Lioness’ via T/KO for +315 or via tapout for +500.
Then we have the epic, and let me once again say “EPIC” co-main event for the UFC Interim MIddleweight Title: Yoel Romero (-105) is taking on Robert Whittaker (-115). Who believes we will see a submission here? Like 4 people in the MMA bubble right?
If there’s going to be a finish in this one, by either guy, you figure it’s going to be a T/KO. If you subscribe to this theory, you can get Romero at +240 or ‘Bobby Knuckles’ at +165.
In closing, I’m intrigued by the numbers in the lightweight veteran bout between Anthony Pettis (-240) and Jim Miller (+200). And once again, I feel alone in my assessment here.
First off, I believe taking Miller straight up is already a fun bet worthy of our money. Second, I will not be surprised if he finishes Pettis in this one. For the small minority who believe this may be the case, you can get Jim via any finish for +725.
So those are my fun bets for this weekend’s action packed events. Do you have any of your own? Let me know your thoughts by making a comment below, hitting our forums or via @ShowdownJoe on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.