Photo of TUF 15 Finale headliner, Jake Ellenberger, by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting via SBnation.com.
After 13 grueling weeks, the final two competitors from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15: "Live" left standing, Al Iaquinta and Mike Chiesa, are ready for their shot at the big time at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
TUF 15 Finale hits FX this Friday night (June 1, 2012), when the two Team Faber representatives will square off inside the Octagon for the legendary "six-figure contract" in a Lightweight showdown. In addition, the next challenger to the Welterweight title will most likely be decided when Martin Kampmann and Jake Ellenberger collide in a five-round, 170-pound main event.
It's an entertaining mixed martial arts (MMA) card on the surface, but look a little closer, and you'll find profit to be made at the sportsbook, too.
Join us after the break for an in-depth look at the odds behind TUF 15 Finale: "Kampmann vs. Ellenberger" as we examine the betting lines for the upcoming MMA match ups this weekend in "Sin City:"
TUF 15 Finale Odds:
Jake Ellenberger (-225) vs. Martin Kampmann (+175)
Charles Oliveira (-170) vs. Jonathan Brookins (+140)
Al Iaquinta (-225) vs. Mike Chiesa (+175)
Max Holloway (-130) vs. Pat Schilling (EVEN)
Justin Lawrence (-450) vs. John Cofer (+300)
Joe Proctor (-270) vs. Jeremy Larsen (+210)
Daron Cruickshank (-250) vs. Chris Tickle (+190)
Cristiano Marcello (-115) vs. Sam Sicilia (-115)
John Albert (-175) vs. Erik Perez (+145)
Myles Jury (-260) vs. Chris Saunders (+200)
Thoughts: It's a decent crop this week ... let’s see what we’ve got.
As far as the three big bouts, I’d avoid Martin Kampmann vs. Jake Ellenberger based on glaring questions I have concerning aspects of their games, but I don’t think it’d be too bad an idea to put some money down on Chiesa or Brookins. In both cases, I’m rooting for the opponent, but both have demonstrated the kind of tenacity to stifle their opponents. Iaquinta is dangerous standing, sure, but he had a hard time staying off his back against Jury when the latter actually got it into his head to shoot. Further, Chiesa is incredibly durable and, even if Iaquinta comes out firing, I don’t anticipate the latter finishing him with strikes. As far as Oliveira, he’s incredibly active off his back, but with Brookins’s grappling acumen, it wouldn’t surprise me too much if -- should he take "do Bronx" down with regularity -- he grinds out a win a-la Rodrigo Lima vs. Hiroshi Nakamura at Bellator 64.
For the rest of the fights, your best bets are probably a pair of favorites: Marcello and Albert. In the former case, fearsome as Sicilia’s power is, he doesn’t have the technique that Lawrence used to keep Cristiano uncomfortable and at safe beating distance. I just can’t shake the feeling he’s going to overextend at some point and give Marcello the opportunity he needs to bring his ground game to bear. In the latter battle, Albert seems the superior fighter of the two and has the added advantage of Octagon experience and more time to prepare. Aside from the two outlined in the previous paragraphs, I’m not seeing much value in underdogs, so I’d advise you to just stick with the favorites for the most part.
TUF 15 Finale Best Bets:
- Parlay: Mike Chiesa and Cristiano Marcello -- Bet $20 to make $82.80
- Parlay: Jonathan Brookins and John Albert -- Bet $30 to make $83.10
- Single Bet: Mike Chiesa -- Bet $40 to make $70
Nothing like a bunch of hungry fighters to light up a Friday night.
See you then, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live TUF 15 Finale results this Friday, which is as good a place as any to talk about all the action inside the Octagon, as well as what you've got riding on the sportsbook.