Most people are agreeing that this years The Ultimate Fighter season was the best in the history of the show. This proves that it’s the fighters that make the show and not the coaches, as Jon Jones and especially Chael Sonnen did a great job putting the emphasis on their fighters and not trying to steal the limelight with pointless shenanigans. Of course Uriah Hall sending everyone he faced to the hospital and having that ridiculous knockout of Adam Cella definitely helped people want to continue watching the season to see what he would do next. What he did next was make it to the season finale against Kelvin Gastelum, a fighter who kind of flew under the radar throughout the season, but needs to be taken seriously now.
Pinnacle Sports has odds up for every fight on this card, but I’m going to focus on the fights between cast mates of this TUF 17 season. Visit PinnacleSports.com for all of the up to date odds and to bet on the fights.
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Kelvin Gastelum +295 vs Uriah Hall -337
The Uriah Hall hype train is in full force so I was kind of surprised when I saw he is only about a 3/1 favourite. But then I started thinking about it more and realized it might be because of that hype train that he is such a big favourite. When you look at Uriah Halls fights his only tough battle came in the fight to get into the house against Andy Enz. Hall won by decision, but he had to battle hard against Enz who just would not give up. It was later discovered that Enz suffered a shattered elbow from a kick he took early in the first round so he actually fought the fight with one arm (the first hospital victim). That said Hall did dominate and those who wonder if he can battle should have the answer to their question from that fight. But then again he was just battling against a probably inferior fighter with one arm.
Kelvin is also a battler and he will not be sitting back and giving the fight away like Dylan did in the last episode. He also won’t get knocked out with one punch like Bubba, who went in scared. Adam Cella was able to stand with Uriah for a while, but that was just over confidence and he paid the price. Kelvin has a game plan and that is to take Uriah to the floor. I think he can do this and I like him to battle hard for the entire three rounds. Halls fights have all been against similar fighters, but none have been short and stocky like Kelvin, who can likely get inside and make something happen. Josh Samman is a similar fighter to Uriah and Kelvin manhandled him.
Kelvin and Uriah were also on the same team and apparently sparred together often while in the house. This has to be in Kelvins favour because he won’t be afraid of Uriah and he will have a game plan going in that he thinks will legitimately work. Uriah is scary good, but at these odds the smart money has to be on Kelvin.
Play: Kelvin Gastelum +295
Kevin Casey +361 vs Josh Samman -420
Kevin Casey didn’t look very good on the show, but the Chael seemed to have a lot of faith in him. His body gave out after the second round against Bubba and I think this may have something to do with living in the house and training every day. Kevin will now have ample time to prepare for this fight and it’s a good matchup for him. If he can turn this into a grappling match he has a good chance to win. Kevin Casey to me is like a poor mans Kelvin Gastelum, so if he employs the same strategy he could have a shot. I’m expecting a much better Kevin Casey than we saw in the house in this fight.
Play: Kevin Casey +361
Gilbert Smith +150 vs Robert McDaniel -166
Bubba only beat Kevin Casey, who just about passed out in their fight, in the house. He is an overrated fighter in my estimation and he seems to be a guy that doesn’t show up on some nights. For that reason I will always take the underdog against him if he happens to be a favourite. This fight is no different. We didn’t see a lot of Gilbert Smith, except in his loss to the #1 pick in the house, Luke Barnatt, but I expect a battle here.
Play: Gilbert Smith +150
Jimmy Quinlan -105 vs Dylan Andrews -105
Dylan did not look good in his fight with Uriah. He really never gave himself a chance to win. I think Jimmy’s wrestling is much better and that will decide the fight.
Play: Jimmy Quinlan -105
Check out our MMA betting page to learn more about some of the other bets you can make on this UFC card. There are other big fights on this card such as Jorgensen vs Faber. Read more about it at UFC.com.