(Phillipe just has to finish up some nurse shit, then he’ll be right in to kick your ass. Thanks for your patience.)
Trying to come up with odds on guys who most of us have only seen fight under very specific circumstances has got to be a difficult job. For all we know, maybe John Polakowski really is "a mean guy" in the Octagon, and maybe Dave Kaplan only looked bad because he went with the ill-advised, "block with your face" strategy that he now knows is a mistake. We just can’t be sure.
Fortunately internet bookies feel they are up to the task of sorting out all the woulda-coulda stuff, and as a result we can still throw our money away on Saturday night’s Spike TV TUF 8 Finale show. Below are the best odds in town, courtesy of BestFightOdds.com.
Efrain Escudero (+334) vs. Phillipe Nover (-364)
Vinicius Magalhaes (-165) vs. Ryan Bader (+160)
Jason MacDonald (+119) vs. Wilson Gouveia (-125)
Anthony Johnson (-225) vs. Kevin Burns (+205)
Dave Kaplan (+322) vs. Junie Browning (-325)
Krzysztof Soszynski (-345) vs. Shane Primm (+315)
Eliot Marshall (-551) vs. Jules Bruchez (+501)
Kyle Kingsbury (-116) vs. Tom Lawlor (+106)
George Roop (EVEN) vs. Shane Nelson (-108)
John Polakowski (-122) vs. Roli Delgado (+112)
- The line seems about right on Bader-Magalhaes, but oddsmakers seem to think that lightweight final isn’t even close. While I think it’s Nover’s fight to lose, the odds would have you think it’s as easy to call as Mir-Nogueira.
- I honestly don’t see Gouveia as the favorite over MacDonald. Yes, MacDonald got subbed by Maia, but Gouveia is no Maia. He was getting his ass beat by Ryan Jensen of all people before Jensen got careless. Gouveia is a constant submissions threat, but MacDonald had to learn something from the Maia fight. He’s more well-rounded, more physically gifted, and I think he takes this one.
- Eye poke or no, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson did not look spectacular in his first fight with Burns. He got dotted up on the feet, and his takedowns were effective but didn’t lead to much. He still seems like the better all-around fighter, and more of a threat to end the fight at any point, but it could be a lot more competitive than the odds reflect.
- And the closest fight of the night will be…George Roop vs. Shane Nelson? Jesus. That’s not very encouraging, is it? The rest of the TUF consolation fights look like squash matches to oddsmakers, and I can’t say I disagree. K-Sos seems to me like the easiest lock in the prelims, but somehow Eliot Marshall gets that honor here. That’s got to be seen as more of an indictment of Jules Bruchez’s ability than praise of Marshall’s. Sorry, Jules.