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Steve Cofield

TUF 8 Finale picks, Vegas style

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

After a bit of a hiatus we're back it with some UFC picks. The site has been on fire dating back UFC 88 going 14-1 with highlighted picks (UFC 88, UFN 15, UFC 89, UFC 90, UFC 91). Caution on this event. The Ultimate Fighter finales are often the hardest to bet because you're basing much of your knowledge off of what you saw on a reality television show. With the help of Dave Farra from RawVegas.tv we break down the top three fights in this video. The rest of the picks come after the jump.

TUF 8 odds (Venetian Resort Hotel Casino):

If you're in Las Vegas, make sure you shop the number. The Palms is the only other sportsbook that will post odds for all the fights. Actual picks are in BOLD.

TUF 8 LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE

EFRAIN ESCUDERO v. PHILLIPE NOVER (-500)

This one is intriguing. Escudero is a giant underdog but his submission work definitely gives him a shot. Did we ever see Nover tested? How good are David Kaplan and George Roop? Nover looks to have the more well-rounded game in this fight. He also just received his BJJ black belt earlier this month. The Palms opened this fight with Nover as a much smaller favorite at -300. Nover has been bet up to -370. PICK: NOVER -500

TUF 8 LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE

RYAN BADER v. VINNY MAGALHAES (-140)

Bader said he won't be going to ground with Magalhaes. I don't believe it. I also think Vinny will find a way to pull guard and get Bader where he wants him. Bader has a lot of potential this fight just happens to be a stylistic nightmare for him. Palms bettors have been strongly on the side of Magalhaes with the line moving to -170. PICK: MAGALHAES -140

JASON MACDONALD v. WILSON GOUVEIA (-160)

Gouveia is the more well-rounded fighter but is he really going to be at his best for this one? He missed weight by four pounds yesterday and looked very drained. MacDonald always comes in shape and can push the pace. I see MacDonald breaking Gouveia at some point and scoring a submission win. PICK: MACDONALD +130

KEVIN BURNS v. ANTHONY JOHNSON (-360)

The first fight was marred by an unintentional Burns' eye poke. Burns throws his jab as a feeler and then follows with the right. He messed up Johnson eye badly enough that it required surgery. In truth, it was actually a lousy fight before the poke with Johnson scoring several takedowns. I see the same fight this time around. The price is simply too high though to bet on Johnson. PICK: JOHNSON -360

DAVE KAPLAN v. JUNIE BROWNING (-180)

Both fighters have been in Las Vegas since the end of the reality show. Kaplan is training with Frank Mir at Striking Unlimited while Browning joined the camp at Xtreme Couture. They both appear to have good upside. This one won't be very technical. I don't see a grappling war breaking out. It should be a good ole' slugfest. In those cases, I roll the dice with the dog money. PICK: KAPLAN +150


SHANE PRIMM v. KRZYSZTOF SOSZYNSKI (-360)

There's a huge experience on the side of Soszynski in this one. "The Polish Experiment" has 25 pro fights under his belt. This is fight No. 2 for Primm. Keep in mind that this fight is at 205 lbs. but Soszynski has fought heavyweight against some huge dudes including Devin Cole, Dan Christison, Ben Rothwell, Mike Whitehead and Mike Kyle. I just can't envision Primm hurting Soszynski. I hate laying big number because a loss can ruin an entire night of picks but there's too many positives on the side of Soszynski to pass. PICK: SOSZYNSKI -360


JULES BRUCHEZ v. ELIOT MARSHALL (-200)

This is another one that appears to be a mismatch. Marshall's jiu-jitsu is top notch and he has a big size advantage. Bruchez should be fighting at middleweight. The only question with Marshall is his confidence and killer instinct. I'll roll the dice. PICK: MARSHALL -200


TOM LAWLOR v. KYLE KINGSBURY (-240)

Kingsbury looks like a helluva prospect but this number may be a little too rich. There shouldn't be a whole of technique in this one either. Lawlor's striking is solid. Now let's see if he can hurt a light heavyweight. We know that he can KO a lightweight as Kaplan found out on the show. It's too bad "The Filthy Mauler" can't unveil one of his wrestling entrances. PICK: LAWLOR +190


GEORGE ROOP v. SHANE NELSON (-170)

Nelson may be the hidden gem from the show. He looked to be well-rounded but got caught off guard by having to fight almost immediately when he arrived in Las Vegas. It's Hawaii v. Arizona in this one and I'm siding with B.J. Penn's guy. PICK: NELSON -170

JOHN POLAKOWSKI v. ROLI DELGADO (-180)

Polakowski may be the nicest guy UFC has ever had on the reality show but he's certainly not the most skilled. He striking is sloppy and I see him getting caught with a knee or kick from the much taller Delgado. Polakowski probably belongs down at 145. PICK: DELGADO -180

OTE: The MMA Experts Blog is seated cageside and will have live fight-by-fight coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. ET. Join Maggie Hendricks for a live chat during the televised portion of the show beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.

We'll also have a live post-fight show from Las Vegas. I'll be joined by fighters from the card, Matt Serra, Stephen Bonnar and Frank Trigg. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN.

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