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The Ultimate Fighter Finale Betting Preview and Odds

The Ultimate Fighter Finale is the second of three cards during International Fight Week and it’s headlined by a massive bout between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha for the Strawweight Championship. The card will also feature Will Brooks making his UFC debut against Ross Pearson in the co-main event.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha

These two women do not care for one another. Jedrzejczyk defeated Gadelha in controversial fashion in December 2014, as many people believe the Brazilian should have won the bout.

Since their first meeting, Jedrzejczyk has dismantled every opponent with her ridiculously violent and effective Muay Thai. Aside from a mastery of Muay Thai, JJ also has extensive experience in the Dutch-style kickboxing. It’s not just her crisp strikes that are terrifying, but also her cardio. Jedrzejczyk has never once shown exhaustion in the octagon with three of her five bouts in the company going the distance – one of which was five rounds.

Jedrzejczyk has done a marvelous job at improving her takedown defense since her first bout with Gadhela. Her clinch game was always nasty thanks to her Muay Thai experience, but she is still lacking in the grappling department. If a fighter is able to get her to the ground – not something that has happened often – Jedrzejczyk is in over her head.

Gadelha is a marvel in the octagon, as she marries her amazing physical skills with technical proficiency that is rarely matched by anyone.  Her striking game isn’t quite as diverse as Jedrzejczyk’s, but Gadelha loves to move forward behind a powerful jab. As talented as she is at striking – an area she is still improving on – she is most deadly when in close. Her clinch game is a challenge for any opponent, as she has the ability to rock you with her fists or land the takedown – and being on the mat is the worst place to be against Claudia.

Gadelha is a beast on the mat. She easily and smoothly advances her position while landing punishing strikes. Once Claudia gets past the guard it gets even more difficult, as she combines these nasty strikes with a submission game that is one of the best in the division.

This fight has gone under the radar being crammed in the middle of International Fight Week, but this is legitimately one of the best matches the UFC could possibly book. Both fighters are in their prime and both fighters dislike each other with a passion. The first fight was a battle, but this one should be even more excellent. I genuinely expect this to be the best bout of all the 35 fights during International Fight Week.

Ross Pearson vs Will Brooks

Will Brooks makes his UFC debut after accumulating a 17-1 record, which culminated in ‘Ill Will’ carrying the Bellator Lightweight Championship. Brooks does not get an easy first task as he faces UFC mainstay Ross Pearson in his promotional debut.

Brooks is an exceptional athlete who is able to compete in every facet of the fight game. He likes to move forward behind his jab and kicks but is just as comfortable counterpunching as well. Brooks will switch between stances, which helps him work his beloved kicks from different angles.

Brooks would prefer the fight take place in tight quarters. He is one of the most dangerous fighters on the planet once he puts his opponent on the cage, as he is able to rip off combinations in a tight space like few others. As a high school wrestler, Brooks can go for a takedown in this situation, but he is more likely to continue throwing punches once inside.  

Pearson is a counterpuncher who has made a career out of capitalizing on his opponent’s mistakes. The Brit is fantastic at head movement and parrying his opponents in the striking game. Of course – as is with counterpunchers – Pearson can go a little quiet sometimes as he waits for his opponent to press the action.

‘The Real Deal’ is a slightly above average defensive wrestler and has been able to keep fight standing against lower-tier opposition. However, truly top-level wrestlers are able to take him down and put him in a position he is uncomfortable in.

Brooks could be competing with the division’s elite sooner rather than later, but Pearson is not a pushover. If Brooks can keep the bout in tight - eliminating Pearson’s counterattacks – then he should easily pick up the win. However, if this fight is all about striking at range, it could go either way.

The Ultimate Fighter Finale: Team Joanna vs Team Claudia – Las Vegas, Nevada

Odds as of July 8 at Bovada

  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk -125
  • Claudia Gadelha -105
  • Andrew Sanchez -155
  • Khalil Rountree +125
  • Andrew Sanchez -155
  • Khalil Rountree +125
  • Amanda Cooper +300
  • Titiana Suarez -400
  • Doo Hoi Choi -210
  • Thiago Tavares +170
  • Joaquim Silva -125
  • Andrew Holbrook -105
  • Gray Maynard -160
  • Fernando Bruno +130
  • John Moraga -155
  • Matheus Nicolau +125
  • Anthony Smith -135
  • Cezar Ferreira +105
  • Jake Matthews -155
  • Kevin Lee +125
  • Li Jongliang -335
  • Anton Zafir +255