After trading words, pranks and everything in between for weeks, it’s finally time for Jason Miller and Michael Bisping to trade punches in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 Finale main event at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 3, 2011.
The two uncouth ruffians, opposing TUF 14 coaches, will square off this weekend in a five-round affair that’s sure to have title implications. In addition, two featherweights -- Diego Brandao vs. Dennis Bermudez -- and two bantamweights -- T.J. Dillashaw vs. John Dodson -- will go toe-to-toe for a pair of "six-figure" contracts.
And where there’s sweet fights, there’s money to be made.
Join us after a jump for a thorough breakdown of the odds behind TUF 14 Finale: "Bisping vs. Miller" as we examine the betting lines for this weekend's myriad match ups in "Sin City:"
TUF 14 Finale Odds for the Under Card:
Steven Siler (-150) vs. Josh Clopton (+120)
Bryan Caraway (-400) vs. Dustin Neace (+300)
Josh Ferguson (-135) vs. Roland Delorme (+105)
Dustin Pague (-300) vs. John Albert (+230)
Stephen Bass (-170) vs. Marcus Brimage (+140)
Thoughts: I'm not going to lie: the pickings are slim on the under card this week. Sorry to be terse, but I’d just avoid betting on it entirely because with this many guys making their Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debuts, as well as several of them coming off of long layoffs, it just makes me uneasy.
TUF 14 Finale Odds Main Card:
Johnny Bedford (-225) vs. Louis Gaudinot (+175)
Tony Ferguson (-340) vs. Yves Edwards (+260)
T.J. Dillashaw (-225) vs. John Dodson (+175)
Diego Brandao (-370) vs. Dennis Bermudez (+280)
Michael Bisping (-170) vs. Jason Miller (+140)
Thoughts: Now we're talking. Let’s dig a little deeper and see what we can find.
I wasn’t fond of Bedford, who claimed that he was a better fighter than Dodson after getting absolutely thrashed by him in their fight, but I’ve got to support my fellow lanky guy in this one. Gaudinot seemed uncomfortable in his fight with Pague, and just didn’t seem able to handle his foe’s height advantage. Bedford’s eight submission losses raise some serious questions about his longevity in the promotion, but Gaudinot doesn’t seem the sort to expose that weakness.
Stick Bedford in a parlay.
I’m a big fan of the "Thugjitsu Master," as any proper mixed martial arts (MMA) fan should be, but I’m worried sick about him in this one. Being the only man in almost four years to get knocked cold by "Hands of Foam" Sam Stout doesn’t bode well for him, especially against someone who has legitimate skill in addition to huge power in his hands. The lines were a bit closer a few days ago, but there’s very little profit left at this point. If you must bet on this fight, do so on Ferguson, but make it a parlay -- Edwards is a bit too crafty for me to advocate putting enough money straight-up on Ferguson to turn a profit worth a damn.
For someone who generally fights at flyweight, Dodson has some impressive power in his hands to match his speed. Even so, as I said in my TUF 14 Finale Facebook "Prelims" preview, it’s a bad idea to pick against an Alpha Male fighter plying his craft below lightweight. While Dodson is much more experienced, that experience is at 125, against guys significantly smaller than Dillashaw.
That said, picking Dodson based on his speed and scrambling ability wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. He’s a squirrelly bastard, and that left hand is mean. Put down a few bucks on him if you’re feeling lucky.
While I’m not as much on the Brandao train as the rest of the Internet, having learned my lesson about high-power, low-technique little men with Alexis Vila, but there are several factors keeping me well away from that tasty-looking +280 on Bermudez. For one, Rivera, who is admittedly one of the bigger low-weight prospects, rocked him badly with a glancing shot and pretty much had his way with Bermudez before gassing out in the second round. Brandao’s punches are nowhere near as clean as Jimmie’s, but he seems to make up for that deficiency pretty well with his speed.
What really makes me hesitate with Bermudez, however, is the intimidation factor. Brandao’s last two opponents looked like they were on the verge of soiling themselves before the fight. Caraway, who is an accomplished wrestler, was too terrified of Brandao’s power to set up his shots properly and wound up unable to take him down. I’m not calling "champion" yet, and I do think Brandao will have trouble when he runs into a bruiser who’s willing to stand his ground (I’m praying for a Maximo Blanco match up), but he’s shown enough to convince me that, even with his unrefined striking, he’ll be too much for Bermudez.
The level of my dislike for Michael Bisping is so absurd that I had to invent a new word (abhorrifical) to describe it, since the puny English language was insufficient. Despite this, the odds are simply too close for me to advocate betting against him. Yes, he has about as much chance of finishing Miller as he does of winning a popularity contest, but he’s just got a few too many things going for him in this one. Miller hasn’t had a bout in over 14 months, and his past two fights have been against nobody (Tim Stout and the mummified corpse of Kazushi Sakuraba). He does have a big advantage on the ground, but Bisping has demonstrated some solid grappling defense in the past and may actually be the better wrestler in this one.
Bisping is very vulnerable to the overhand right, and should he fight someone with serious power in that hand again, he’s probably hosed, but Miller isn’t the man to do it. It’s going to be boring as sin, but he should be able to plink-plink his way to a decision victory come Saturday. And at -170, you won’t have to bet much to make enough to compensate for your disappointment.
My Best TUF 14 Finale Bet:
The Disappointment Parlay: Tony Ferguson and Michael Bisping -- $54.71 to win $57.74
We’ve got a good batch of fights this weekend. Please be sure to enjoy them responsibly.
Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will deliver live TUF 14 Finale results this weekend, 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.