UFC NEWS: UFC Fight Night China: Kim Vs. Hathaway TUF China Finale Picks, Odds & Predictions - 3/1/14 - MMA NEWS
UFC Fight Night China: Kim Vs. Hathaway
March, 1, 2014
TV: Prelims start at 6:00AM ET on UFC Fight Pass, Main Card starts at 8:00AM ET on UFC Fight Pass
The UFC returns to Macau as it hosts it's second event in the Cotai Arena for UFC Fight Night: Kim Vs. Hathaway. The card originally had 10 fights on it, which is small compared to what they normally have, but an injury to one of the TUF China finalists and a missed weight cut has the card down to 8 fights, which is the smallest fight card since UFC 72 back in June, 2007. Headlining the main event will be South Korea's Dong Hyun Kim and Britain's John Hathaway in a five round welterweight matchup. The welterweight final of TUF China will be the co-main event as Sai Wang takes on Lipeng Zhang. Other notable fights include Matt Mitrione against Shawn Jordan, Hatsu Hioki against Ivan Menjivar and Nam Phan takes on Vaughan Lee in a bantamweight matchup. We haven't seen this short of a card in a while and although there are no super big names on the card it should be an entertaining one still.
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports
Dong Hyun Kim (18-2-1(1NC)) Vs. John Hathaway (17-1)
In our main event we have two welterweights who have won their last three and hope to make it four in a row. Kim is coming off an impressive knockout of Erick Silva back in October, while Hathaway hasn't seen action since September 2012 due to injuries. An impressive win for either fighter could get them a fight with a top fiver in the welterweight division and make a run for a title shot. Kim comes in the favourite at -360 and Hathaway the underdog at +300, I agree with the line as Hathaway has had a long layoff and i'm not sure how the ring rust will affect him. Kim has also fought tougher guys and only has 2 losses out of 12 total UFC bouts. The line originally opened at Kim -280 and Hathaway +200, but it has slowly crept up and could get even higher come fight time. I could see this fight going back and forth but in the end I would have to lean towards Kim via decision, Kim is fighting closer to home and isn't coming off such long layoff.
Dong Hyun Kim - 360
Sai Wang (6-4-1) Vs. Lipeng Zhang (6-7-1)
In the welterweight finals of TUF China, Sai Wang takes on Lipeng Zhang, if you haven't been following TUF China than you probably couldn't care less about this co-main event. I'm not sure how the ratings were in China but I couldn't bear to watch it past the third episode. I don't know if it was a language barrier or the skill of the fighters, which is incomparable to the regular TUF. I'm not going to lie, I haven't seen either fighter in action and looking at their records and where they have fought i'm leaning towards Sai. This is definitely a no-play and I will just be watching this fight as a fan and to see how far Chinese MMA is compared to North America's.
Matt Mitrione (16-3) Vs. Shawn Jordan (15-5)
Atleast we have a heavyweight fight to look forward to watching, it may not be the biggest names in the heavyweight division but it's a heavyweight fight nonetheless. Matt Mitrione is coming into this fight a loser of 3 of his last 4 and a poor performance here could get him cut by the UFC. Shawn Jordan is coming off a knockout loss against Gabriel Gonzaga, a fight in which he was the favourite ( I don't know why) and again he comes in the favourite here (also I don't know why). This is the closest line on the card as Jordan is the slight favourite at -115 and Mitrione at -105, I think Mitrione should be the favourite, although not by much, mind you this is a heavyweight bout. I feel Mitrione's footwork might be the difference here as he is lighter on his feet than Jordan is. Even for a 260 pounder Mitrione moves really well and if he can keep his hands up and land some big shots of his own, I can see him hurting Jordan and than going in for the finish via TKO. This is my personal main event and i'm definitely leaning towards meathead.
Matt Mitrione - 105
Hatsu Hioki (26-7-2) Vs. Ivan Menjivar (25-11)
A featherweight matchup of two fighters who are in desperate need of a win, both guys are on losing streaks and both guys haven't had a win since 2012. Hioki has lost his last 3 and Menjivar has lost his last 2, yet Hioki is the biggest favourite on the card at -440 and Menjivar at +350. While I agree that Hioki will probably win this fight, I don't see why he should be an over 4 to 1 favourite. I think this fight will be closer than what the oddsmakers have it at and I see this fight being a back and forth battle with Hioki ultimately winning via decision. I am a fan of Ivan Menjivar but I just think that he's at the latter end of his career and I don't have enough faith in him eeking out a win here. The over 2.5 rounds at -240 might be a better number than the Hioki moneyline, but with the odds being so weird this is a no-play for me.
Hatsu Hioki -440
Kazuki Tokudome (12-4-1) Vs. Yui Chul Nam (17-4-1)
"The Korean Bulldozer" Yui Chul Nam makes his UFC debut against Kazuki Tokudome who will be making his third UFC appearance. A lightweight matchup in which the UFC newcomer is the favourite, Nam is at -195 and Tokudome at +168. I know Nam will be coming out of the gate super aggressive and looking for the knockout early but if Tokudome can weather the early storm, the longer the fight goes on the better his chances get at winning the fight. Tokudome's UFC experience should count for something and getting him +168, there is some value there. I haven't seen much of Nam and the oddsmakers must know something since they put him as the favourite here. This is another no-play for me as I haven't seen Nam yet, if I was bettiing I would take a chance on the underdog on this one.
Kazuki Tokudome +168
Nam Phan (18-12) Vs. Vaughan Lee (13-9-1)
A bantamweight matchup that should be entertaining as Nam Phan takes on the Brit Vaughan Lee. Phan has lost his last two fights and needs a win desperately here if he wants to stay with the UFC. Vaughan on the other hand is coming off a loss to Raphael Assuncao, who is probably next in line to face bantamweight champ Renan Barao. Nam Phan comes in the favourite at -140 and Lee the underdog at +120, both guys matchup pretty well and I could see this one going back and forth in a three round battle. I would lean towards Nam Phan winning via decision.
Nam Phan -140
Anying Wang (1-0) Vs. Albert Cheng (2-2)
Two welterweights making their UFC debuts in the second fight on Fight Pass. Both fighters are very green and hope to put on a good performance to prove that they belong in the UFC. Wang comes in the favourite at -125 and Cheng the underdog at +105, I think both guys are going to be giving everything they got and because of this the over 1.5 Rounds might be the safer play here. I would lean on Wang to win the fight but with both guys being so green I would lean towards this fight going over 1.5 rounds.
Over 1.5 Rounds at -165
Jumabieke Tuerxun (14-0) Vs. Mark Eddiva (5-0)
Kicking off the prelims on UFC Fight Pass we have a featherweight fight between two undefeated fighters. Both fighters haven't been very active of late as Eddiva's last fight was in 2011 and Tuerxun's last fight was in 2012. Tuerxun comes in the big favourite at -400 and Eddiva the underdog at +325, I agree that Tuerxun should be the favourite but this line makes you think Eddiva has no chance in this fight. I think the fight will be closer than the line makes it seem, Eddiva has a height advantage but the question is will he be able to utilize it. I think Eddiva holds some value at +325 but I haven't seen either of these guys fight so this will probably be a no-play for me but I would lean towards this fight going over 1.5 rounds.
Over 1.5 Rounds at -165
Thanks for reading, follow me on twitter @chrislau30