The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale Date: April 16, 2014 Arena: Colisee Pepsi City: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada These are my parlays for the TUF Nations Finale… Women’s bantamweight bout: Leslie Smith (+180) vs Sarah Kaufman (-240) Gabe’s Prediction: Sarah Kaufman last saw action at UFC 166 last October, losing a split decision to Jessica “Evil” Eye. However, the Texas State Athletic Commission later turned the result into the No Contest, due to Eye testing positive for marijuana metabolites in her system. This bout is a rematch of Kaufman’s last fight before entering the UFC, where she took a split decision win over Leslie Smith. Smith herself is coming off a loss, dropping a unanimous decision to Barb Honchak at Invicta FC 7 four months ago. After coming short in her bid for a flyweight title, she moves back up to bantamweight for another crack at Kaufman, but this time on short notice, as she is replacing an injured Amanda Nunes, who herself was replacing Shayna Baszler. I think this fight will be competitive, but I favor Kaufman doing enough to win at least two out of three rounds on the judges’ scorecards en route to another decision victory over Smith. Gabe’s Call: Kaufman by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Plays: Kaufman (-240) parlayed with Walsh (-240) and Gagnon (-280) for +172 1.6u to win 2.75u and Kaufman/Smith over 2.5 rounds (-400) parlayed with Noons/Stout over 2.5 rounds (-320) and Jimmo (-485) for +103 2.25u to win 2.2u Welterweight bout: KJ Noons (-105) vs Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout (-125) Gabe’s Prediction: This is a fight between a pair of strikers who have good chins but don’t possess knockout power. Stout’s nickname is ironic, if you ask me. “Hands of Pillows” is more like it. I could see Stout implementing his wrestling in this fight in order to win rounds, but I’m not sure if he will be able to get Noons down to the mat. If Noons’ takedown defense holds up, I think he will outbox Stout on the feet and get the better of him for two of three rounds en route to a decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. Noons is coming off a unanimous decision victory over George Sotiropoulos at UFC 166 last October, while Stout is coming off a unanimous decision of his own, which came against Cody McKenzie four months ago. Noons and Stout are both lightweights, but for some reason this fight has been changed to a welterweight contest. It’s been reported that both men asked for the change, but there have been no mentions of the reason behind it. The betting odds indicate that this fight is a coin-flip, and rightfully so. I could make a good case for either of these fighters getting their hand raised on Wednesday night, but I don’t have confidence in either of them. I lean Noons, but the play I like is the over. Gabe’s Call: Noons by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Noons/Stout over 2.5 rounds (-320) parlayed with Kaufman/Smith over 2.5 rounds (-400) and Jimmo (-485) for +103 2.25u to win 2.2u Light heavyweight bout: Ryan Jimmo (-485) vs Sean O’Connell (+350) Gabe’s Prediction: The 30-year old Sean O’Connell will be making his UFC debut on short notice, as he replaces an injured Steve Bosse, who himself was getting ready to make his debut inside the Octagon. O’Connell is currently enjoying a six-fight winning streak that includes four finishes, and will be looking to add another to his resume against Jimmo. Jimmo last saw action against Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 30 five months ago, where he suffered a leg injury in the second round, ultimately losing the fight. Jimmo will be looking to bounce back to the win column, and I think this is a good match-up for him to do so. I think he will technically outstrike O’Connell on the feet, and likely grind him against the cage and work in takedowns. I could see Jimmo earning the second finish of his Octagon career, but more often than not, I think he wins this fight on the judges’ scorecards. Gabe’s Call: Jimmo by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 20-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Jimmo (-485) parlayed with Kaufman/Smith over 2.5 rounds (-400) and Noons/Stout over 2.5 rounds (-320) 2.25u to win 2.2u Welterweight bout: Chris Indich (+180) vs Richard Walsh (-240) Gabe’s Prediction: Simply put, I think Walsh is going to keep this fight on the feet and outstrike Indich en route to a decision victory. Neither are them are worth writing home about, but it is Walsh who displays superior skills, and I do think he has the better chance of competing in the UFC. Though, he will likely have to make the move to 155 pounds after this bout. Gabe’s Call: Walsh by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Walsh (-240) parlayed with Kaufman (-240) and Gagnon (-280) for +172 1.6u to win 2.75u Bantamweight bout: Mitch Gagnon (-280) vs Tim Gorman (+240) Gabe’s Prediction: There are so many question marks surrounding Tim Gorman, and I’m sure they will be answered Wednesday night. Mitch Gagnon is an aggressive fighter who likes to move forward and finish the fight from the moment the bell rings. He is without a doubt a finisher, as 100 percent of his professional mixed martial arts career victories have come by way of submission. That might initially make you think that he is a jiu-jitsu ace, but that isn’t exactly the case. What Gagnon does well is hurt his opponents on the feet with his heavy hands, and while they’re hurt, he secures chokes flawlessly. I think Gagnon’s chin will hold up against Gorman, and during a grappling exchange, I think Gagnon will end up catching him with a choke. He will get his hand raised, while Gorman stands there applauding his opponents win in disbelief, kicking himself for getting caught in that choke. It will be the fourth Octagon appearance for Gagnon, who is currently riding a two fight-winning streak with first round submission victories over Walel Watson and Dustin Kimura. The Canadian was scheduled to take on Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres on the Australia card back in December, but had visa issues, and the bout was ultimately canceled. Coming off his win over Kimura over six months ago, Gagnon is eager to make it three in a row against Gorman, who will be looking to make his debut inside the Octagon. Gabe’s Call: Gagnon by Submission (guillotine choke, 2:07 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Gagnon (-280) parlayed with Walsh (-240) and Kaufman (-240) for +172 1.6u to win 2.75u
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