The Ultimate Finale 10 Preview and Predictions
p>Despite what I thought about the 10th season of The Ultimate Fighter, I’m pretty excited for the finale of this show. The boys at UFC matchmaking did the best they could with the talent they had and actually created some intriguing matchups.
I will once again attempt to use my mediocre talent evaluation skills to predict the outcomes of tonight’s bouts. Thus far, after UFC 106, I have a 3-4 record.
Marcus “Big Baby” Jones vs Matt Mitrione: This is a matchup that I wouldn’t have cared about until the season finale this past Wednesday. Jones, usually the sensitive, quiet type, absolutely exploded on Mitrione when he found out that his friend Scott Junk may never fight again. Both fighters are former NFL players and will likely weigh in at the maximum of 265 pounds. Jones is the more experienced fighter of the two, and his jiu jitsu skills will give him a significant advantage if the fight goes to the ground. Mitrione was one of several fighters on the show that were portrayed negatively and I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to see him take a beating. Jones is a great athlete but at 35 years old, his veteran NFL body is starting to wear down. Jones showed a suspect chin on the show so Mitrione certainly has a puncher’s chance.
Prediction: Jones by submission
Frank “The Answer” Edgar vs Matt Veach: On a heavyweight finale, this lightweight bout may seem out of place, but don’t overlook it. Frank Edgar has already established himself as one of the top lightweights in the UFC with wins over Spencer Fisher, Tyson Griffin, Sean Sherk. Matt Veach is no slouch either, he was a Juco All-American wrestler and he is currently undefeated with an 11-0 record. 10 of Veach’s 11 wins have come by either submission or knockout. This is a direct counter to Edgar who has had 7 of his last 8 fights go to decision (winning 2 Fight of the Night honors in the process). Both fighters are talented but I feel whoever imposes their will will be the victor. If the fight lasts all three rounds, Edgar will take it, if it ends early Veach will be the victor.
Prediction: Frank Edgar by decision
Kimbo Slice vs Houston “The Assassin” Alexander: Now THIS is a fight that fans will flock to see. Kimbo and Houston are both brawlers who want to keep the fight standing. As a poster on my favorite MMA messageboard stated
I think it’s safe to say that, barring someone slipping on blood, that fight will NOT go to the ground.
While I love fights with excellent displays of technical striking and ground maneuvers, this is the kind of fight that you don’t need a high MMA IQ to enjoy. Someone is going to get knocked out in the first round, simple as that. Houston Alexander is a powerful puncher, but he also has excellent Mauy Thai skills like leg kicks and knees in the clinch that Kimbo lacks. I feel this is what will propel him to victory.
Prediction: Houston Alexander by KO
Matt “The Hammer” Hammil vs Jon “Bones” Jones: The co-main event fight has serious light heavyweight implications. Hammil is a veteran of TUF season 3 and is coming off a knockout of the year candidate in his last fight. Jones is one of the top prospects in the UFC. As a Greco-Roman wrestler, he got a 4 fight UFC contract after only training in mixed martial arts for about four months. There is a lot of buzz surrounding Jones, who has used several impressive throws, takedowns, and even suplexes in his fights along with unorthodox strikes like spinning back elbows and switch kicks. Matt Hammil is a seriously tough guy with a ton of heart so I would not be surprised if this fight goes to a decision. In the end, though, Jones is 11 years younger and much, much faster than Hammil so I think he will come out the victor.
Prediction: Jon Jones by decision
Roy “Big Country” Nelson vs Brendan Schaub: Just about everyone predicted Roy Nelson to win this season of The Ultimate Fighter and he is now one win away from turning all the MMA prognosticators into Nostradamus. Nelson was the favorite due to his fight experience as he has competitively faced off against tough heavyweights like Andrei Arlovski, Ben Rothwell and Jeff Monson Schaub was an undefeated heavyweight prospect coming into TUF season 10 and has performed admirably to reach the finals. He trains out of Greg Jackson’s camp, so you can never count out a great gameplan, but Schaub was in trouble in both his quarterfinal and semifinal fights on the show. With Roy Nelson’s experience, he will not let Schaub get away if he is in a bad position. Despite his portly appearance, Nelson has great cardio and is very accomplished in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. If this fight goes to the ground, Nelson will take advantage and end it quickly. Schaub displayed some decent power in the striking game but his best takedown defense on the show was when he illegally grabbed the fence multiple times against Jon Madsen. If he can somehow keep the fight standing he has a shot to become the next Ultimate Fighter.
Prediction: Nelson by submission