TUF 27 Betting Breakdown: Israel Adesanya vs. Brad Tavares

Prior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look ahead to the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale as Israel Adesanya and Brad Tavares clash in both fighters first ever main event in the UFC.

Israel Adesanya (Record: 13-0, -140 Favorite, Power Ranking: C+)

The Nigerian born and New Zealand trained fighter is one of the most exciting fighters to join the UFC in some time. He’s won his first two fights in the UFC earning plaudits for his style and approach in the process. In just his third fight, he’s already been put in a main event slot.

The Last Stylebender is first and foremost a kickboxer with extensive experience in that discipline. He’s a rangy middleweight standing at 6’4” with an 80 inch reach. Adesanya uses his length well on the feet and draws some comparisons to a young Jon Jones in terms of his frame. Adesanya can land with pin point accuracy, but also has a high volume rate (4.62 significant strikes per minute) to go along with it. He’s the type of striker that fans come out and pay to see as he’s capable of delivering striking combinations that people have not seen before. He doesn’t have the one punch knockout power that the division’s top fighters have, but his accuracy and combinations to the body can just as easily put opponents away. There are certainly some question marks surrounding him because has yet to face any top fighters and his ground game is rather untested. Adesanya didn’t have any answers with Marvin Vettori took him down in his last fight and was forced to wait until the end of the round before he could get back to his feet.

Brad Tavares (Record: 17-4, +120 Underdog, Power Ranking: B-)

The Hawaiian born fighter is one of the longest tenured middleweights in the UFC having made his promotional debut back in 2010. Tavares has won four fights in a row including wins Elias Theodorou and most recently a knockout of Krzysztof Jotko to climb into the top ten of the middleweight rankings.

The well-rounded orthodox fighter continues to chug along in the UFC. Since 2010, he has earned 12 wins in the promotion. Of those 12 wins, just two of them have come by finish which is why Tavares has gone under the radar. Tavares is a solid striker overall with an accurate, underrated right hand. He doesn’t have the consistent power of the fighters in the division’s top five, so he needs to rely upon a solid all-around game to earn wins. Defensively, he is very good with a striking defense of 57% absorbing just 2.48 significant strikes per round. Furthermore, he has a good chin having been knocked out just twice in his career. He’s good in the clinch and can work in strikes from close range. He’s even shown a solid wrestling game securing over a takedown per 15 minutes in the cage. While, Tavares does possess championship level attributes in any one area, there is no true in his armor. That in and of itself makes him dangerous.


In a middleweight clash, Israel Adesanya looks to catapult up the UFC rankings as he faces his toughest test to date in Brad Tavares. On the feet, Adesanya will not only have the advantage over Tavares, but would have that advantage over just about anybody in the middleweight division. Adesanya is as technically a gifted striker as anyone in the UFC. Adesanya can throw punches from all sorts of angles and his combination work is fierce. Tavares will need to be careful not to take too much damage in this bout. It won’t be easy for Tavares, but he has a clear advantage in this bout on the ground. Tavares is the physically much stronger fighter and should be able to put Adesanya on his back. On the ground, Tavares has a real advantage as he will be capable of landing significant ground and pound keeping Adesanya grounded for large periods of the bout.  Look for Tavares to lean on his experience and take Adesanya into deep water out lasting the talented striker to win by late stoppage or decision. Tavares (+120) is worth a bet as he should be favored in this bout.

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About the Author

Jay Primetown

Jay Primetown

Co-Host of The MMA Analysis Podcast ( Available at //mmaoddsbreaker.com ) / RBNY & USMNT Fanatico, Lives in no spin zone.

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