The Ultimate Fighter reality series will crown their next fighters dubbed the Ultimate Fighter this Sunday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center this Sunday in Las Vegas. The middleweight TUF fighter features Eddie Gordon taking on Dhiego Lima and the TUF light-heavyweight finale has Corey Anderson going toe-to-toe with Matt Van Buren.
This is a big weekend for the UFC, in addition to the TUF Finale on Sunday, they’re holding their biggest event of the year, UFC 175, on Saturday in the same venue. You have to wonder if the TUF finale will be a little anti-climactic after fans watch two title fights at UFC 175.
The UFC odds makers have Corey Anderson as a -190 favorite to beat underdog Matt Van Buren in the finale. Bettors will need to risk $190 on Anderson to win $100 but they’ll get back $150 for every $100 risked on Van Buren.
Corey Anderson -190
Matt Van Buren +150
The light-heavyweight crop on this season’s TUF show was an uninspiring group of fighters but both Anderson and Van Buren were able to exceed expectations to make it to the finale Sunday night.
Anderson had Olympic wrestling dreams before changing his focus to MMA after a meeting with former Bellator champion and current ONE FC star Ben Askren. He only has two pro-fights on his resume before he entered the TUF house; both first round TKOs. He fought 8 times as an amateur going 6-2.
It’s an interesting choice some fighters make, MMA isn’t the type of sport where you have an indefinite amount of fights in your system. Avoiding the pros and sticking to amateur fights can move the odometer while not earning a fighter any money in the process.
Van Buren is a more experienced pro, four of his eight fights took place with Bellator. He had success in the house but before that, he was finished in two of his last three official fights (TUF fights don’t count on fighters pro records).
Van Buren is 6’5 and should use that length to keep Anderson at a distance but Anderson has excellent footwork that should allow him to get close to Van Buren and once he has his hands on him, Anderson should take it to the ground and control the fight for the victory.