The Ultimate Fighter Season 28 finale fight that never occurred will finally transpire when Tresean Gore (3-0 professionally; 2-0 in TUF) takes on TUF champion, Bryan Battle (6-1 professionally; 2-0 in TUF). Each fighter has something to prove, given this matchup is viewed to be the true bout to determine the TUF champion, as such, the matchup should be electrifying from start to finish.
The odds opened at a near pick’em, but have since moved to Gore’s side, where he is now a -150 favorite over Battle.
- Battle: +138
- Gore: -170
Bryan Battle’s fighting style truly embodies his name, that is, he “battles” back from the face of adversity. In his previous two fights, Battle had moments where he looked to be a notch below his opponent’s talent; however, in each of those fights, Battle weathered the early storm of not having success, stayed calm, and eventually ended both via submission in round 2. The impressive feat in each is that he submitted opponents who are respectable on the mat – they have either gone to a decision or have trained with the grappling specialist, Sean Brady. Given Battle was able to secure the submission in each, and given 5 of his last 7 fights have come via submission victory, one would think Battle is strictly a grappling-style fighter. Although grapple-attacks are at the forefront of his intent, Battle certainly looks to utilize his length and natural strength in the striking department, knowing damaging his opponent on the feet will open up opportunities once the fight is on the mat. The issue, for Battle, is that his striking lacks quickness and sharpness, particularly against technical fighters. Regardless of this weakness, if Battle can get the fight to the ground, a finish is likely to quickly ensue.
Although Gore lacks significant experience inside the octagon, he has looked extremely dangerous in all of his previous performances. During TUF, Gore’s reputation was one that was a very dangerous striker with lightning-quick attacks, both with his hands as well as he kicks. Although many UFC-caliber fighters have dangerous striking, many lack the ability to be equally as dangerous from either stance. For Gore, his frequent stance switches and ability to finish the fight in either leaves many fans excited to see how far Gore can climb in the middleweight division. In this matchup, the test will be if Gore can keep the fight standing, if so, he should have a significant advantage on the feet to the point of a likely finish.
As with many fights in MMA, the outcome of this bout will be determined by if the striker can keep the fight standing against the dangerous grappler. Gore is athletic and has shown well – in a very brief career – fighting grapple-first fighters; meanwhile, Battle has shown to be somewhat slow on the feet and has been able to get hit by non-strikers. Given the disparity in striking parlayed with the belief that Gore will be able to keep the fight standing, I anticipate Gore getting a finish over Battle.
Bet: Gore by KO