The Bloody Elbow staff has made its predictions for The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale, and most of are going with Israel Adesanya to beat Brad Tavares in Friday’s main event. Just as a heads up, we’ve skipped write-ups for all of the TUF 27 related bouts, primarily due to time constraints given we have a much bigger event to predict tomorrow.
Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind each pick are not required and some writers opt not to do so for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any explanations, he has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.
Mookie Alexander: It’s not that I don’t think Adesanya can become an elite fighter down the line, but that third round against Vettori gave me pause for how the Tavares fight could do. Tavares is certainly a much better striker than Vettori, and is a good enough wrestler to take Adesanya down. There’s very much a chance that Adesanya just lights up Tavares, especially since Tavares isn’t powerful enough to bother Adesanya, has been knocked out twice before, and is likely to lose the vast majority of the exchanges at range, but I do think Tavares is the type of veteran who can grind out an ugly win. Adesanya hasn’t shown much off of his back, which benefits Tavares, who isn’t much of a top control threat, but he can basically win by pinning and doing the bare minimum whilst there. Brad Tavares by unanimous decision.
Victor Rodriguez: Can’t remember who made this point first, but a few people have noted that Tavares is the kind of guy that is hard to look good against. Hell, it’s hard for him to look overly impressive in his fights until he gets a finish (like his last fight). Israel has a lot of great tools and instincts as a striker, and has demonstrated a great ability to survive off his back and get to his feet. Tavares should be able to eventually get him down and control, but it doesn’t seem likely to me he’ll keep him there for long enough to offset the output that Adesanya will have standing. Eventually, Adesanya should get far enough on the scorecards that it negates any control from top position Tavares has. Israel Adesanya by decision.
Staff picking Tavares: Mookie, Stephie, Tim
Staff picking Adesanya: Bissell, Harry, Nick, Phil, Fraser, Victor, Dayne
Mookie Alexander: I know Bravo got brutally KO’d quickly last time out, but I can’t trust Caceres to win damn near any fight. He’s that difficult to predict and so easily capable of putting himself in a bad spot. Marvin Bravo by unanimous decision.
Phil Mackenzie: Martin Bravo is good violent fun, but may not have the basic durability required to make that style go particularly far. Conversely we have Alex Caceres who has utterly plateaued. The one thing about Bravo is that he seems unwilling to deal with kicks in any way, which ended up getting him knocked out in his last fight. If Caceres is given an absolutely clear opportunity to fight from the outside, he’ll often reluctantly take it, although he’s probably going to get randomly dropped at some point. His confidence that he can come back afterwards seems to be waning. Avoid if you are a bettor. Alex Caceres by unanimous decision.
Staff picking Caceres: Bissell, Harry, Nick, Fraser, Phil, Tim, Dayne
Staff picking Bravo: Mookie, Stephie
Phil Mackenzie: The rematch the MMA world has been screaming for. Modafferi deserves our respect as someone who has absolutely maximized some underwhelming physical gifts, but her main improvements have been in her striking. She’s still twiggy and lacking in muscle, and will struggle to strike while on her back. Barb Honchak by unanimous decision.
Victor Rodriguez: Honchak is another underrated fighter that found a lot of success prior to the UFC opening a division that she could participate in. While she’s mostly been a controlling grappler with a decent jab and some good flurries of standing offense, she’s mostly resorted to suffocating her opposition and doing damage on the ground. On the other hand, Roxanne is still making improvements ever since moving to Vegas, in both technique and conditioning. Modafferi should be able to outwork Honchak standing, and we’ll get some fun exchanges on the ground with Roxy threatening more submission attempts, but ultimately going to the judges. Roxanne Modafferi by decision.
Staff picking Modafferi: Harry, Mookie, Victor, stephie
Staff picking Honchak: Bissell, Nick, Phil, Fraser, Tim, Dayne
Phil Mackenzie: Not a bad fight. Marquez has a pleasing Lineker-esque quality to his aggressive punches-and-chokes game. Di Chirico is athletic and clean, but lets the perfect be the enemy of the good a little too often and can be pressured. Marquez will probably do that. Julian Marquez by submission, round 3.
Mookie Alexander: Oh, Marquez has a lot more than a Lineker-esque quality to aggressive punches-and-chokes. He takes the same approach with his weight cut. That also means he’s probably going to win. Di Chirico is a decent fighter but Marquez seems like a promising talent. Julian Marquez by submission, round 2.
Staff picking Marquez: Harry, Mookie, Nick, Fraser, Phil, Stephie, Tim, Dayne
Staff picking Di Chirico: Bissell
Mookie Alexander: This is an intriguing matchup that should mostly take place on the ground. Both women came off of quick submission wins on the TUF 26 Finale, and literally neither one of them has won by anything other than tapout or decision. I can easily see Ostovich going for an ill-advised head-and-arm throw that leads to De La Rosa putting her in trouble and submitting her. Ostovich definitely looks more composed than in her earlier fights, so I won’t discount her getting the W, but the pick is Montana De La Rosa by submission, round 2.
Staff picking De La Rosa: Nick, Phil, Dayne, Mookie
Staff picking Ostovich: Bissell, Harry, Fraser, Stephie, Tim
Mookie Alexander: Bessette is an offensive fighter almost to a fault, which might be a bad thing against Peterson, who somehow survived that onslaught from Brandon Davis in their last fight.This could be a good scrap between two guys not hesitant to engage. I lean towards Bessette to get the win, which would give “Ocho” Peterson eight losses. Matt Bessette by unanimous decision.
Staff picking Bessette: Bissell, Mookie, Nick, Fraser, Stephie , Tim
Staff picking Peterson: Harry, Phil, Dayne
Victor Rodriguez: Piechota’s an odd duck to me. He’s got functional striking and is smart enough to get out of most common bad spots. He still lacks a sense of urgency, and this fight is a good test of where he’s at. Merrschaert is a very experienced fighter that should have been in the UFC ages ago, has a great submission game and strikes well despite having a speed disadvantage in some fights. Oskar gives Gerald fits at first, then Meerschaert begins to slow the fight down to a crawl and make it his kind of fight. Gerald Meerschaert by decision.
Phil Mackenzie: Meerschaert is tough, grimy and athletically underwhelming. Like a clinchier Court McGee, albeit with a bit less durability. Piechota is a genuinely decent prospect who can strike, grapple and submit and has a far higher baseline level of athleticism. He also has a degree of calmness which I think will serve him well here. Oskar Piechota by TKO, round 2.
Staff picking Meerschaert: Bissell, Harry, Nick, Victor, Tim
Staff picking Piechota: Mookie, Phil, Fraser, Stephie, Dayne
Rest of the card:
Staff picking Giannetti: Harry, Mookie, Nick, Fraser, Phil, Stephie, Tim, Dayne
Staff picking Trizano: Bissell
Jay Cucciniello vs. Brad Katona - TUF featherweight final
Staff picking Cucciniello:
Staff picking Katona: Mookie, Nick, Bissell, Fraser, Phil, Stephie, Tim, Dayne
John Gunther vs. Allan Zuniga
Staff picking Gunther: Bissell, Mookie, Nick, Fraser, Phil, Stephie, Dayne
Staff picking Zuniga: Harry, Tim
Tyler Diamond vs. Bryce Mitchell
Staff picking Diamond: Nick, Bissell, Dayne
Staff picking Mitchell: Mookie, Fraser, Phil, Stephie, Tim
Staff picking Pena: Bissell, Harry, Mookie, Nick, Fraser, Phil, Stephie, Tim, Dayne
Staff picking Smullen:
Who wins the TUF 27 Finale main event?
This poll is closed
Adesanya by stoppage
Tavares by stoppage
Adesanya by decision
Tavares by decision
England on penalties