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TUF Finale: Johnson vs Gaethje Betting Odds Preview

International Fight Week really gets going when the fighters enter the Octagon for The Ultimate Fighter Season 25 Finale in Las Vegas. The card features plenty of notable names but is buoyed by an absolute banger of a main event.

Longtime WSOF champion Justin Gaethje makes his UFC debut when he takes on Michael Johnson, who looks to bounce back from a tough loss. Gaethje has never lost in his career with an unblemished 17-0 record, which includes 14 wins via knockout.

Michael Johnson vs Justin Gaethje

Johnson (-170) has a versatile skill set that he mainly uses to sprawl and brawl. “Menace” has always been an athletic, aggressive striker but he has honed his craft under the tutelage of renowned striking expert Henri Hooft. Johnson still likes to push the pace and dictate the terms of engagement but he has become much better at flicking his jab and low kick to set up his bigger strikes. Though he is at his best when in the pocket, he has had a tendency to stay in that range too long and get into a firefight.

Johnson was a former collegiate wrestler and has developed these skills into a great takedown defense. Early in his MMA career, he would rely on his wrestling skills offensively but has now decided the fight is better standing where he can use his natural athleticism and power. Only one of Johnson’s past seven opponents was able to land a takedown – and it’s almost unfair to even count the fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is a monster.

Gaethje (+140) has been looked at as one of the best fighters outside the UFC for years now. He is basically violence personified. It’s not always the prettiest, but “The Highlight” forces his opponents into brawls and he thrives in chaos. Gaethje is going to move forward in the striking game and try to beat you mentally and overwhelm you physically with a barrage of strikes – specifically his leg kick, which is one of the most deadly in the sport. All that being said, he gets hit a lot. It’s a drawback of his style and getting hit by the likes of Luiz Firmino and Luis Palomino is much different than getting hit by Michael Johnson.

Gaethje pairs this aggressive style with a wrestling background that is as good as it gets. The former WSOF champion was a collegiate all-American wrestler who also grappled with some of MMA’s best to test their skills. These skills are also more used to demoralize his opponent, as Gaethje loves to slam his opponents even if it doesn’t put him in the best position on the ground.

The UFC continues its tradition of giving champions from other organizations the most difficult fight it can. Johnson has a style that is predicated on movement and keeping his back off the fence, where Gaethje wants to force his opponent. Expect an exciting brawl that will likely end with one man getting overzealous and being caught in close.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 25 Finale Betting Odds
  • Michael Johnson -170
  • Justin Gaethje +140
Odds as of July 7 at Bovada
  • Marc Diakiese -260
  • Drakkar Klose +200
  • Brad Tavares -105
  • Elias Theodorou -125
  • Jordan Johnson -240
  • Marcel Fortuna +190
  • Angela Hill -360
  • Ashley Yoder +270
  • Ed Herman +155
  • CB Dollaway -190
  • Jessica Eye +105
  • Aspen Ladd -135
  • Gray Maynard +245
  • Teruto Ishihara -315
  • Tecia Torres -400
  • Juliana Lima +300