TUF Finale

The tenth addition of the Ultimate Fighter culminates tonight with the live finally.  The finals pits seasoned verteran and former IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson (14-4) against the young upstart and former Arena Football League player Brandon Schaub.  The line opened with Nelson at -250 to -295 depending the shop and has since been bet down to -173.

I think Nelson is being significantly undervalued.  He is a black belt in BJJ under Renzo Gracie and uses his weight very effectively.  He has great balance and cardio has never been an issue despite his large size.   

While his stand up is not great, it is adequate.  He is effective at closing the distance while taking minimal damage and has a solid chin.  He has only been stopped once in his career, by Andrei Arlovski in a fight he controlled for a round and a half.  He also carries a close split decision loss to UFC fighter Ben Rothwell and a controversial decisional loss to former UFC title challenger and ADCC grappling champion Jeff Monson in a fight where many observers said he out grappled Monson and was clearly wronged. 

Schaub is still very green.  In his fights prior to the show, and his fights on the show, he was very susceptible to the takedown. He was basically taken down at will by Demico Rogers, Jon Madsen and Marcus Jones.  Rogers (no pro MMA experience) and Jones (limited experience) both had him mounted. 

If Nelson moves into a dominant position (Mount or Side Control), this fight is OVER. 

Sure, Schaub has excellent hands.  He won the Colorado Golden Gloves after boxing for about 6 months.  But this is not a boxing match.  I do not see Schaub getting any gifts here like Andrei Arlovski did against Nelson when the ref stood them up while Nelson was in side control and had a Kimura locked in.  More times than not, Nelson will close the distance, work a takedown then control Schaub on the gournd.  Eventually he will end the fight by strikes or by choke.   

The only thing stopping me from completely hammering Nelson is Schaub's learning curve.  He trains with a great camp - Trevor Whitemore's place in Colorado who works directly with Greg Jackson.  I do not know how much he has improved his takedown defense since the end of the show.  But, chances are not enough as wrestling does not come over night and takes years to refine.

Remember, this is a fight and anything can happen.  Despite my recommendation, if this fight takes place 100 times, Schaub will come out victorious on some occasions.  MMA is a high variance sport.  Injuries, cuts, and poor judging can effect the outcome.

However, -173 (bookmaker) is a gift in my opinion.  I recommend 3 units on Nelson.


posted by terpkeg

Dec. 5 2009 3:26pm

1 replies

  1. 0 likes

    nice hit..you see Kimbo? I was out there for the fights. Nelson absolutely rocked him, great call.  Hammill fight did not pay out either way with the Dq. Take care, haven't seen ya in a while. Good take and write up on Roy "slim fast" Nelson.


    posted by pc7588

    Dec. 8 2009 10:04pm

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