Ultimate Fighter Finale: Edgar vs. Mendes UFC Picks & Betting Preview

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 5:33 PM GMT

We review the UFC odds for The Ultimate Fighter Finale, which features a featherweight tilt between former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and top tier contender Chad Mendes. Who will be our UFC pick?

Frankie Edgar (19-4, 5 KO’s, 4 Subs)
Much like the talented and former champion Urijah Faber, Frankie Edgar is a man hunting for a championship belt and a division that will allow him to wear it. Edgar saw the writing on the lightweight division wall when he lost two consecutive matches to Benson Henderson and moved swiftly to the featherweight category where he received an immediate title shot against Jose Aldo. That opportunity proved to be more of the same as Edgar lost his third consecutive unanimous decision in a career that saw him lose only one prior to this losing streak. Edgar has decided to stay at 145 and this test against Chad Mendes will most certainly put him in line for a second shot at the featherweight crown against either Jose Aldo or the garrulous Conor McGregor if he is successful.

The good news for Frankie Edgar fans is that he has reeled off four consecutive victories over talented adversaries at the featherweight level. Charles Oliveira (unanimous decision), BJ Penn (TKO), Cub Swanson (Submission) as well as the aforementioned Urijah Faber (decision) have all fallen victim to Edgar’s hit list most recently. The Answer is looking to pose a question to Mendes on Friday night to which he will have no response.

 

Chad Mendes (17-3, 7 KO’s, 2 Subs)
Chad Mendes is looking to get himself another shot at the featherweight title and that road runs right through Frankie Edgar on Friday night. The UFC odds makers are installing him as a slight underdog in what appears to be an elimination round for the next featherweight title fight. Mendes has had three bites at the proverbial apple as far as challenging for the 145 pound UFC crown if you include the Interim featherweight championship fight with Conor McGregor. He has lost both championship matches to Jose Aldo as well as getting TKO’ed in the second round in his last fight against McGregor which he took on short notice after Aldo pulled out with a rib injury.

Sandwiched in between his two most recent losses to Aldo and McGregor, “Money” Mendes starched Ricardo Lamas in the opening round, earning him a Performance of the Night bonus and now has seven career knockouts to his credit. However Mendes is an accomplished Division 1 wrestler and can make life miserable for anyone going to the mat with him. He dominated McGregor in the first round of their fight with a relentless ground game and was actually winning much of the second until McGregor was able to stand up and caught Mendes, clearly out of gas, with a booming left hand. Mendes will need to make sure his cardio is as good as it ever was because Frankie Edgar will be motoring for five full rounds.

 

Betting Analysis
This is a contest of anything you can do, I can do better. Both fighters are former D-1 All-Americans, though Edgar is also a BJJ black belt under Ricardo Almeida. Both fighters have the ability to knock an opponent out and employ lethal elbows and strikes when the opportunity presents itself. The edge in this fight goes to Frankie Edgar because he has an incomparable ability to press the pace and tempo with a seemingly limitless gas tank. This will be a five-round fight due to its main event status and I cannot picture Mendes knocking out or submitting Edgar in this one which means he will have to win the championship rounds in the eyes of the judges and I just can’t see that happening.

Include Frankie Edgar -140 in your UFC picks on Friday night.

Free UFC Pick: Edgar -140 at BetCRIS

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