Gray Maynard share a combined mixed martial arts (MM) record of 1-4 in their last five Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) appearances, which means that something has gotta give at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 Finale, which takes place this weekend (Sat., Nov. 30, 2013) at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After hard defeats in their title shots and subsequent knockout losses, Maynard and Diaz have one last chance at staying in the LIghtweight elite if they can manage to take out each other. Meanwhile, TUF 18 Finale features clashes between Jessica Rakoczy and David Grant of Team Ronda Rousey and Julianna Pena and Chris Holdsworth of Team Miesha Tate.
It may be short on name value, but there's plenty of potential action here. Let's see if there is profit to be made, too, as we explore the latest TUF 18 Finale betting odds / lines:
TUF 18 Finale Odds For The Under Card:
Maximo Blanco (-165) vs. Akira Corassani (+145)
Rani Yahya (-130) vs. Tom Niinimaki (+110)
Jared Rosholt (-220) vs. Walt Harris (+180)
Sean Spencer (-170) vs. Drew Dober (+150)
Josh Sampo (-130) vs. Ryan Benoit (EVEN)
Thoughts: No particularly interesting under dogs, but I like the odds on Blanco and love the odds on Sampo.
Unless Blanco accidentally leaves his brain behind at the airport, I have a hard time picturing a situation where he loses this fight. He hits too hard for Corassani to trade hands with him and wrestles too well for him to get taken down and succumb to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Barring Blanco getting himself disqualified, which is a very real possibility, he should theoretically make short work of Corassani.
Therefore, a moderate bet on him wouldn’t be the worst idea.
As hard as Benoit hits, he’s simply too vulnerable to the takedown and positionally weak to pick against Sampo, who has also faced superior competition. This is, as far as I can tell, not a 50-50 fight despite what the odds say. I’d recommend a relatively large bet on Sampo, being much more experienced at the upper tier and the better grappler of the two.
I was considering putting something down on Yahya -- his late fading against Mizuto Hirota and Josh Clopton; however, have me somewhat hesitant, especially since Niinimaki is no joke. Sampo seems to have a significantly better chance at winning with the same relative payout, so stick with him.
TUF 18 Finale Odds For The Main Card:
Gray Maynard (-140) vs. Nate Diaz (+120)
Julianna Peña (-260) vs. Jessica Rakoczy (+200)
Chris Holdsworth (-195) vs. David Grant (+160)
Jessamyn Duke (-210) vs. Peggy Morgan (+160)
Raquel Pennington (-280) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (+200)
Thoughts: Really, I’m not seeing too much here. I do think Rakoczy has a decent enough shot to warrant a small bet, but I have much more confident in Holdsworth, who is a terrific grappler out of a great camp.
I’d use him to beef up a few parlays.
I would really rather not touch Gray Maynard vs. Nate Diaz because I don’t know how those recent knockout losses will affect them and I don’t know if "The Bully" is confident enough in his submission defense to exploit his significant wrestling advantage.
Leave this one be.
TUF 18 Finale Best Bets:
- Single bet: Josh Sampo -- Bet $65 to make $50
- Parlay: Chris Holdsworth and Maximo Blanco: Bet $40 to make $57.20
- Single bet: Jessica Rakoczy -- Bet $20 to make $40
- Parlay: Chris Holdsworth and Josh Sampo -- Bet $50 to make $83.50
TUF 18 Finale will showcase the Octagon debuts of solid prospects and a rubber match between two powerful 155-pound standouts.
Not bad for another free card on FOX Sports 1. See you later, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live TUF 18 Finale results on later tonight RIGHT HERE, 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.