We’re about 2 weeks away from the TUF Nations Finale featuring middleweights Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy in the main event. With just one card (UFC Fight Night 39, our main card picks are here) in the mean time, the main and co-main event odds have been released and we’re here with our first couple predictions and bets. As a matter of disclosure, we haven’t watched any episodes of TUF Nations, nor do we plan to before the fight card so we will be hesitant to place any bets on the TUF finalists. We are currently up over 40 units since UFC 168 for a return of over 25%. Had you created an account with $1000 and tailed our bets, you would now have over $1800. By the way, just finished listening to Warren Buffet’s Management Secrets and it’s an awesome listen. A bit off topic here, but the overlap between people betting on MMA and putting money in the stock market is likely more than we think.
As stated above, the main event of this TUF Finale features top 10 middleweights Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy. Both men are likely 2 wins away from a title shot and the winner should get a top 5 opponent in a number 1 contender fight. Bisping has been fighting in the UFC since winning The Ultimate Fighter 3 back in June, 2006 and sports an overall record of 24-5 and a UFC record of 14-5. He has been around the top of the UFC’s middleweight division for years, but always seems to lose when he has the chance to become the number one contender. He’s just one of those guys who struggles to beat the elite of the division. At 35 years old and with 29 career fights, if Bisping hopes to win a title, it will have to be in the next year or two. At 34 years old and with 21 career fights, Kennedy is in a pretty similar situation to “The Count”. He also takes care of business against lower level competition, but struggles against elite fighters. His only recent losses are to Luke Rockhold and Jacare Souza who are the number 4 and 6 overall UFC middleweights. In terms of recent performances, Kennedy is riding a 3-0 streak while Bisping is 2-2 in his last 4. It likely speaks more to the fact that Bisping has been fighting really high level competition while Kennedy has had some easy recent fights more than the skill level of either fighter though. We expect Kennedy’s to outgrapple Bisping to a close decision as our model has him as a slight favourite. As Tweeted out, we placed a 3 unit bet on Kennedy at 2.67.
The other fight with early odds released on this card is the coaches battle between Kyle Noke and Patrick Cote. Both fighters’ best days are likely behind them with Cote losing to Cung Le at UFC 148, defeating Alessio Sakara (via questionable DQ, Sakara should have been able to easily TKO Cote, but struck the back of Cote’s head) and defeating Bobby Voelker at UFC 158 while Noke has a first round submission loss to Ed Herman, a decision loss to Andrew Craig and his latest win in September, 2012 over Charlie Brenneman, who was then cut from the UFC, but has recently returned with a loss. Our model gives Cote the edge, but at less than 1.67, there isn’t a lot of value in placing a bet. Both men are heading towards the end of their careers at 34 years of age and with 27 professional fights. They have also shown throughout their careers that they have a decent level of power, but also have decent chins. It’s always a worry as fighters age that their chins will start to deteriorate and that is the major reason we don’t want to bet Cote. The other possible bet in this fight is the under 2.5 rounds, but at 2.10, we just don’t see a lot of value in laying down our money. We will hold off on betting this fight for now and will likely not include either fighter in a parlay as the fights approach.
Mid-April will be an incredibly busy time for the UFC with 4 fight cards in 15 days, and we will have all of them covered with the best bets, predictions and tips. By the way, if you haven’t checked out Reed Kuhn’s Fightnomics it is a must read for any UFC fan, or anyone interested in betting on UFC fights.
Kennedy over Bisping. 3 units at 2.67 to 1